ATP

'What can I do?' – Djokovic resigned to missing US events due to vaccination requirements

By Sports Desk January 05, 2023

Novak Djokovic is resigned to again missing marquee tournaments in the United States after confirming his stance on COVID-19 vaccinations remains unchanged.

The 21-time grand slam winner is set to sit out the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open after the US extended the requirement for all non-American nationals to be vaccinated.

Djokovic's participation at August's US Open may also be in doubt should those requirements, which are currently in place until April 10, continue to be extended.

But having also been forced to miss events in the likes of the US, Canada and Australia last year, Djokovic accepts he may have to do the same in 2023.

"I don't think there's anything official yet, so when it is we can speak about it," Djokovic told reporters on Thursday when asked about the US restrictions.

When told the rules have been certified by the US Transportation Security Administration, Djokovic replied: "I mean, if it is official then it is – what can I do? Nothing. 

"You know my position, so it is what it is. I'm hoping [to play], but if I can't go, I can't go."

Djokovic, cleared to compete in Australia this year, was speaking after defeating Quentin Halys 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) in the last 16 of the Adelaide International.

The 35-year-old, who beat Constant Lestienne in straight sets in his opening singles match of 2023, trailed 5-2 in the first set but recovered well and then edged the second set.

"It was a great performance from my opponent today and I want to congratulate him for a great fight," Djokovic said in his on-court interview. "He played like a top-10 opponent. 

"He was serving big, hitting his spots and on a fast court like this it's tough to break, so two tie-breaks is a realistic score in today's match. I'm glad to overcome the challenge."

Djokovic will now face Denis Shapovalov, who saw off Roman Safiullin 6-4 6-3, for a place in the semi-finals.

"Denis is one of the most complete players out there," Djokovic said of his next opponent. "He has a very dynamic style of tennis. 

"I haven't played him for a while so I'm looking forward to it. Every match from here gets tougher."

Sebastian Korda also advanced on Thursday with a 6-4 6-4 victory against Roberto Bautista-Agut, while Jannik Sinner beat Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

At the Maharashtra Open in Pune, top seed Marin Cilic withdrew from his quarter-final with Tallon Griekspoor due to a knee injury.

World number 95 Griekspoor will now face Aslan Karatsev for a place in the final.

Related items

  • Jack Draper retires ill in deciding set of Mexican Open semi-final Jack Draper retires ill in deciding set of Mexican Open semi-final

    Jack Draper retired in the third set of his semi-final against Australian Alex de Minaur at the Mexican Open in Acapulco.

    Draper left the court 4-0 down in the final set because of an undisclosed illness after he staged a strong comeback from a set down to the defending champion.

    The Australian started strongly, taking the first 6-3 and capitalising on four of six break points – the first set Draper had dropped in the tournament.

    But the British number three staged a valiant comeback, winning the second set 6-2 with some strong returns.

    His illness became an issue towards the end of the second set with the 22-year-old receiving treatment from the physiotherapist and tournament doctor.

    Things only got worse in the third set as the Australian won four consecutive games before Draper retired from the match.

    De Minaur said after the match that he wishes Draper a “speedy recovery”.

    “He’s a hell of a player, a hell of a talent and I hope it’s nothing too serious,” he said.

  • Katie Boulter into biggest semi-final of career to set up highest ranking Katie Boulter into biggest semi-final of career to set up highest ranking

    Katie Boulter is through to a first WTA 500 semi-final after beating Croatia’s Donna Vekic in straight sets at the San Diego Open.

    The British number one followed up her win over second seed Beatriz Haddad Maia in the last 16 by knocking out the 2022 runner-up 6-4 6-3.

    From trailing 3-1 in the first set, Boulter won nine of the next 10 games in another confident display.

    She will climb to a career-high ranking, on the brink of the top 40, following her latest victory.

    Vecic, seeded seventh, broke first in the opening set but then allowed Boulter to hit straight back after an error-strewn service game.

    Boulter then saved three break points to hold and grabbed a crucial second break for 5-4 before serving out the set.

    Two stunning Boulter backhands brought the 27-year-old from Leicester another break at the start of the second, and a subsequent break to love put her in complete control.

    Boulter let Vecic claw one break back as she served for the set, but she converted her first match point with a clubbing forehand after the longest rally of the match, wrapping up the victory in an hour and 36 minutes.

    “It was an absolute battle in tricky conditions, it was not easy to get any rhythm as we are both big hitters,” Boulter said in her on-court interview.

    “I got over the line in the first set and played some good stuff in the second.”

  • Andrey Rublev defaulted for allegedly abusing line judge at Dubai Open Andrey Rublev defaulted for allegedly abusing line judge at Dubai Open

    World number five Andrey Rublev was sensationally defaulted after being accused of swearing at a line judge in the deciding set of his semi-final at the Dubai Open.

    The combustible Russian was trailing 6-5 in the third against Alexander Bublik when he appeared to say something to the line judge.

    ATP supervisor Roland Herfel came down to the court accompanied by a Russian speaker, who claimed Rublev had sworn in his native language.

    Rublev protested, insisting he was speaking in English, while Bublik also backed his opponent.

    “I didn’t say ‘f******’. I swear to God. This is huge. I swear to God,” said Rublev.

    The offence would usually merit a warning in the first instance, but the 26-year-old was defaulted by umpire Miriam Bley amid jeers from the crowd in Dubai.

    It was a controversial end to a tight match, with Kazakhstan’s Bublik progressing to the final 6-7 (4) 7-6 (5) 6-5.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.