ATP

Djokovic clear to play US Open as Senate votes to lift COVID-19 restrictions

By Sports Desk March 30, 2023

Novak Djokovic looks set to appear at the 2023 US Open after the United States Senate passed a bill to end COVID-19 restrictions.

The 22-time grand slam champion last competed in the tournament two years ago, losing to Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in the final.

He missed the 2022 edition because he had not been vaccinated against coronavirus, with the USA making vaccines a requirement for international travellers arriving in the country from November 8, 2021.

Djokovic was also absent for the 2022 Australian Open as he was deported from the country after immigration officials cancelled his visa because of the Serbian's unvaccinated status.

He returned to Melbourne Park at the start of this year and won a 10th Australian Open title – he will be hoping for a similar impact at Flushing Meadows after his return moved a step closer to reality.

On Wednesday, the US Senate voted in favour of ending the COVID-19 national emergency declared in March 2020, meaning the bill is now set to be considered by President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign.

As such, Djokovic will – assuming he is not ruled out for other reasons – be able to compete at this year's tournament, which is due to begin on August 28.

The news will surely come as major boost to Djokovic, who has already been prevented from entering US-based tournaments in 2023.

The 35-year-old was denied clearance to enter the US earlier in March ahead of Indian Wells and the Miami Open, with his application for special permission turned down by officials.

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