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Novak Djokovic Won't Participate in 2022 US Open Because of Vaccination Status

Adam WellsAugust 25, 2022

PEDJA MILOSAVLJEVIC/AFP via Getty Images

Novak Djokovic's refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine will prevent him from participating in the 2022 U.S. Open.

The Serbian star announced on Twitter he is unable to travel to New York for this year's final Grand Slam tournament.

Novak Djokovic @DjokerNole

Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open. Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NoleFam?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NoleFam</a> for your messages of love and support. ❤️ 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's status for the tournament had been up in the air because CDC regulations require all non-U.S. citizens to be fully vaccinated to enter the country.

This will mark the second Grand Slam tournament this year that Djokovic has been unable to participate in because of his vaccination status. He was deported from Australia prior to the start of the Australian Open after a court unanimously dismissed his attempt to challenge Immigration Minister Alex Hawke's decision to cancel his visa on the grounds of public interest.

In an interview with the BBC after his deportation, Djokovic said he's not against vaccinations "but I've always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body." The 35-year-old also noted he's "willing" to miss tournaments.

There was some doubt that Djokovic would be eligible to play in the French Open. It turned out not to be an issue after France lifted COVID-19 restrictions in most public places in March.

Organizers at the All England Club announced in April that players didn't need to be vaccinated to compete at Wimbledon.

Djokovic lost to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. He successfully defended his Wimbledon title, defeating Nick Kyrgios in four sets in the final. The 21-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played since that match on July 10.

This will mark the first time since 2017 that Djokovic isn't playing in the U.S. Open. This will also be the fourth consecutive year he hasn't won the tournament, his longest active drought in a Grand Slam event.

Djokovic's one Grand Slam title in 2022 matches his fewest in a single season since 2018.

The 2022 U.S. Open main draw will begin Monday. The men's final will take place on Sept. 11.

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