Wimbledon preview, Novak Djokovic will not be vaccinated against COVID-19, excluded from US Open
Novak Djokovic knows that, as things stand, Wimbledon will be his last Grand Slam tournament of 2022, as he will not be able to play the US Open – he has not received any COVID-19 vaccine and cannot entering the United States as an unvaccinated alien.
“That,” said the 35-year-old, “is extra motivation to do well here (at Wimbledon).”
Djokovic started this season tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at 20 major championships, then the record for a man. But Djokovic’s decision not to get vaccinated led to his expulsion from Australia ahead of the Australian Open in January – which Nadal eventually won to claim his 21st.
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Nadal then beat Djokovic in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros en route to winning his 22nd Grand Slam title this month.
When Wimbledon begins on Monday night, Djokovic will have the honor of opening the game on center court as the defending champion. He is seeded No.1 and will be looking to clinch a fourth straight All England Club title and seventh overall.
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“Hopefully I can have a really good tournament, like I did in the last three editions. Then I’ll just have to wait and see. I’d like to go to the United States. But from today, it’s not possible,” Djokovic told All England Club media.
“I can’t do much anymore. I mean, it’s really up to the US government whether or not they allow unvaccinated people into the country.
A reporter noted that Djokovic still had time to get a shot before play started at Flushing Meadows on August 29, then asked if “you’ve completely closed your mind to that option.”
Djokovic answered in one word: “Yes”.
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