The entry list for this year’s last major of the season, the US Open, includes the Serbian former world number one, Novak Djokovic, who remains unvaccinated against Covid and, as the country’s entry regulations currently stipulate, he is consequently barred from entering the United States.
I would really love to go there. That would be probably the next big tournament, the next big swing, playing a tournament or two before US Open and (then) US Open (itself). If that doesn’t happen, then I have to see what the schedule will look like. To be honest, I doubt that I’ll go and chase points. Novak Djokovic
Speaking after lifting his seventh Wimbledon trophy just over a week ago, Djokovic admitted he wouldn’t be able to play any of the US events including the Cincinnati Masters. where his name also currently appears on the entry list.
“I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated so the only good news I can have is them (the US government) removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter United States or exemption,” Djokovic explained.
“I don’t know. I don’t think exemption is realistically possible. If that is possibility, I don’t know what exemption would be about. I don’t know. I don’t have much answers there. I think it’s just whether or not they remove this in time for me to get to USA.
“I would really love to go there. That would be probably the next big tournament, the next big swing, playing a tournament or two before US Open and (then) US Open (itself).
“If that doesn’t happen, then I have to see what the schedule will look like. To be honest, I doubt that I’ll go and chase points.”
Should the rules stay in place, Djokovic might not be able to play another grand slam event until next year’s French Open as he is also currently banned from entering Australia for three years following his deportation from the country last January, also a result of his unvaccinated status.
His next appearance could well be the Laver Cup in London next September but believes his chances of playing the ATP Finals in Turin are good despite having slipped to No.7 in the world rankings thanks to the ATP’s withdrawal of Wimbledon ranking points, and the Davis Cup Finals in Malaga, Spain.
“I guess I have a good chance to be already in the Finals. I will not burden myself to really have to go and play tournaments and get points,” the Serbian added.
“I’ll see. I don’t really feel any pressure or necessity to play a certain schedule.
“We still have not spoken about the schedule, Goran and I. We have to sit down and see what the news are from States and whether that’s happening or not happening, then take it from there.
“Could be Laver Cup (and) Davis Cup is coming as well. I love playing for my country. Going to try to be part of that. Next thing you know the season is over, right? Those are the big, let’s say, tournaments that I have right now in my mind.”
Added Goran Ivanisevic, “A lot of crazy things happening in the world. It’s come every day something is changing, something new. We see what’s going to happen. Still, we have, what, one and a half months. Anything happen or not happen.”
Meanwhile the US Open itself confirms it will allow unvaccinated players to compete but they must be able to enter the country legally.
“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the U.S. government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-U.S. citizens,” the tournament said in a statement.
A petition for the US Government to allow Djokovic to play, has already been started by fans.