New York, Aug 25 (IANS) World No. 6 Novak Djokovic, who is not vaccinated against Covid-19, withdrew from the US Open on Thursday before the draw was made, due to travel restrictions.
Non-vaccinated foreign citizens are currently unable to enter the US. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) =- the nation’s health protection agency — had reviewed some of its rules for unvaccinated citizens in recent weeks.
But, Djokovic’s apparent withdrawal suggests travel restrictions will continue to apply.
“Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open. Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support,” the three-time US Open champion Djokovic
Djokovic wrote on Twitter.
“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!” he added.
The 35-year-old owns a 23-5 record this season, including title runs at the Italian Open in Rome and Wimbledon.
Djokovic, who owns 21 major championships, previously said he was prepared to miss Grand Slam tournaments that require participating players to be vaccinated against Covid-19. He was also unable to defend his Australian Open crown earlier this year after a prolonged legal saga, which ended with his deportation from that country because he isn’t vaccinated.
The tennis star also sat out four significant tournaments in North America in 2022, including in Montreal and Cincinnati recently.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) described Djokovic’s absence as “unfortunate” but looked forward to having him back next year.
“Novak is a great champion and, unfortunately, he will be unable to compete at the 2022 US Open, as he is unable to enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-U.S.citizens. We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open,” said US Open Tournament Director Stacey Allaster in a statement.
A lucky loser will replace Djokovic in the draw. The main draw will be played from August 29-September 11.