US Open: Djokovic to miss Flushing Meadows as he 'sadly' abandons hope

By Sports Desk August 25, 2022

Novak Djokovic will play no part in the US Open, the second grand slam he will have missed this year because of his stance on refusing a COVID-19 vaccination.

The Wimbledon champion announced on Thursday, shortly before the draw in New York, that he would not be making the trip to Flushing Meadows.

He posted on social media: "Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open."

The 35-year-old Serbian, who has won 21 grand slam titles, added: "Good luck to my fellow players! I’ll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!"

Djokovic, who lost to Daniil Medvedev in last year's final in New York, had his route to the United States blocked by red tape this time around.

US authorities are refusing to allow unvaccinated foreign visitors to enter the country. Djokovic, a three-time US Open winner, has been steadfast on his position regarding the vaccine.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) pledged to adhere to government rulings surrounding coronavirus protocols, despite including Djokovic on the US Open entry list last month.

However, he had first to be allowed to enter the country before he could consider competing, and that was out of the USTA's hands.

In late July, Djokovic said he was "preparing as if I will be allowed to compete"; however, he was unable to travel for the build-up tournaments, and now he will miss the major too.

"Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support," he told his fans on Thursday.

Djokovic was not allowed to play at the Australian Open at the start of the year, when issues surrounding his visa ended with him being deported from Melbourne on public health grounds due to not taking the vaccine.

American great John McEnroe said it was "a joke" that Djokovic should have to miss the US Open too, and called for a solution to be found, but that has not come about.

The current entry rules for international travellers to the United States were not in place when Djokovic was toppled by Medvedev in last year's men's singles final, the result that ended his hopes of a calendar Grand Slam.

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