Novak Djokovic's US Open hopes take a hit after tournament vows to abide by US government's Covid-19 vaccine policy

Novak Djokovic’s US Open hopes take a hit after tournament vows to abide by US government’s Covid-19 vaccine policy


Novak Djokovic is not allowed to enter the United States due to his vaccination status

Novak Djokovic’s hopes of playing at the US Open have suffered another blow after the tournament said it would abide by US government rules on the Covid-19 vaccine.

The 35-year-old – a three-time champion at Flushing Meadows – was named on the entry list for the final Grand Slam of the year on Wednesday, but that is routine, rather than an indication he will be cleared to play .

He has been selected for the final Grand Slam of the year alongside British couple Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu, who are hoping to defend the title they won last year.

Six-time winner Serena Williams will also be on the court hoping to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles at the age of 40.

Djokovic, who would aim to join Rafael Nadal at the top of the all-time men’s list with 22 wins in New York, seems unlikely to play, although he has previously spoken of his reprieve hopes.

The United States requires non-citizens to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus to enter, which means Djokovic, who has made it clear on several occasions that he will not take the vaccine, will not be allowed entry.

A statement from the US Open, which does not have its own vaccination rules, read: “According to the Grand Slam rulebook, all eligible players are automatically entered into the main draw fields for men’s and women’s singles in according to the classification 42 days before the first Monday of the event.

“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but will respect the US government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-US citizens.”

Novak Djokovic admits he was disappointed to be expelled from the Australian Open because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19

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Novak Djokovic admits he was disappointed to be expelled from the Australian Open because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19

Novak Djokovic admits he was disappointed to be expelled from the Australian Open because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19

Djokovic’s position already cost him the chance to play at the Australian Open earlier this year and it seems likely he will do so again.

While Djokovic is highly unlikely to be in New York, another former champion will be after Williams was named to the entry list.

Williams, a six-time winner, has signaled her intention to play her Grand Slam on home soil after signing up to play the bulk of the hard-court American swing, including events in Toronto and Cincinnati.

Britain’s Kyle Edmund is also set to compete in his first singles tournament at a Grand Slam in two years.

The 27-year-old’s career was cut short by a knee injury but he made his return to Wimbledon, playing mixed doubles.

And he used his protected rating of 48 to ensure, pending his health, that he will be included in the main draw.

Petition for Djokovic to play

Nearly 12,000 people have now signed an online petition calling on the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to work with the country’s government to allow Djokovic to compete at the US Open despite his refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine.

“There is absolutely no reason at this stage of the pandemic not to allow Djokovic to play at the 2022 US Open,” said the change.org petition, which was launched on June 21.

“(The) US government and the USTA need to work together to allow him to play… MAKE IT HAPPEN, USTA!”

Djokovic won his seventh Wimbledon title and his 21st Grand Slam success

Djokovic won his seventh Wimbledon title and his 21st Grand Slam success

The Serbian, who retained his Wimbledon crown with a victory over Australian Nick Kyrgios earlier this month, said in February he was ready to miss the Grand Slams rather than take the Covid-19 vaccine. 19.

The US Open main draw begins on August 29.

Williams and Raducanu named to star-studded Cincinnati Open field

Ahead of the US Open, Williams is set to compete in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati next month with her seed protected, US Open tune-up tournament organizers announced on Tuesday.

She will be joined by Raducanu, who will use the event to prepare for her defense of her Grand Slam crown at Flushing Meadows, where she won her first major title last year.

Serena Williams in action earlier this year

Serena Williams in action earlier this year

Williams, who returned to the Tour after a year’s absence last month, fell in the first round at Wimbledon but showed she was not yet ready to hang up her racquet even though she is two months away from her 41st birthday.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion is also set to play at the National Bank Open in Toronto from August 6-14 after opting to use her protected ranking to compete in the main draw.

Williams, the oldest player on both the men’s and women’s side this year, won the Cincinnati tournament twice in her career in 2014 and 2015 while being a runner-up in 2013.

The August 13-21 tournament will feature world No. 1s from both the men’s and women’s circuits – Daniil Medvedev and Iga Swiatek.

Former women’s champions on the court include Victoria Azarenka, Madison Keys, Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova.

Emma Raducanu celebrated a point at the Australian Open

Emma Raducanu celebrated a point at the Australian Open

Other Grand Slam champions in the women’s draw include Raducanu, Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu, Jelena Ostapenko, Barbora Krejcikova, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova and new Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who have won 43 majors between them, will headline the men’s field which also includes former champions Alexander Zverev – who missed Wimbledon through injury – Grigor Dimitrov and Marin Cilic .

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