Serbia's Novak Djokovic might miss the US Open: Here's why
Former world number one, Novak Djokovic, could miss the impending US Open. On Wednesday, the tournament announced that it would adhere to the US government's rules on the COVID-19 vaccine. Notably, all non-citizens have to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus to enter the country. However, Djokovic maintains his stance of not taking a jab, something that ruled him out of the Australian Open.
A statement from the US Open read, "Per the Grand Slam Rule Book, all eligible players are automatically entered into the draw fields based on ranking 42 days prior to the first Monday. The US Open doesn't have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the US government's position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-US citizens."
The controversy regarding Djokovic made headlines ahead of the 2022 Australian Open. He had arrived in Australia with a COVID-19 vaccine exemption. However, the border authorities canceled his visa upon arrival. The Serbian was sent to immigration detention before his lawyers filed an appeal. Although Djokovic's team won the case, the government re-canceled his visa. He lost his court bid to stay in Australia.
Djokovic was named on the entry list for the US Open, the final grand slam of the year. However, the protocols might not be exempted for the 21-time Grand Slam champion, as happened at the Australian Open earlier this year.
Djokovic is a three-time winner at the US Open. He won the title in 2011, 2015, and 2018, respectively. Moreover, Djokovic has been a six-time finalist as well. He reached the finale in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2021. Djokovic has reached the semis on four occasions (2008, 2009, 2014, and 2021). He has a win-loss record of 81-13.
Djokovic finished as the US Open runner-up in 2021 after Russia's Daniil Medvedev stunned him in the final. The Russian denied Djokovic a historic calendar-year Grand Slam (winning all four Slams in a year). Djokovic could have been the first man since Rod Laver (1969) to reach this landmark. Before the US Open final, Djokovic held a terrific record of 27-0 at majors (2021).
Djokovic recently won his seventh Wimbledon title after beating Nick Kyrgios in the final. The Serbian secured his fourth consecutive Wimbledon crown, having won The Championships in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Djokovic captured his 21st Grand Slam honor, overtaking the tally of Federer, and is only behind Rafael Nadal (22). Earlier, the Serbian clinched a record-extending 38th Masters 1000 title at the Italian Open.