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25 Aug, 2022 15:44

US Open comments on Djokovic withdrawal

It has been confirmed that the Serb will not play in New York
US Open comments on Djokovic withdrawal

The US Open has released a statement describing it as "unfortunate" that Serbian star Novak Djokovic will be absent from the 2022 edition of the Grand Slam event in New York. 

Djokovic was unable to defend his Australian Open title earlier this year after falling foul of the country's Covid-19 protocols due to his unvaccinated status, but had held out hope that he may be granted a reprieve to take part in the final Grand Slam event of the year at Flushing Meadows – the main draw for which gets underway on Monday. 

However, the Serb wrote on social media on Thursday that he will again be absent from one of the sport's premiere tournaments, saying: “Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open.

“I'll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again,” Djokovic added. See you soon tennis world!”

The United States has not allowed unvaccinated non-nationals to enter the country since October 2021.

Djokovic had been on the US Open entry list at the beginning of this week ahead of speculation that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may relax its entry guidelines – but any such measure has not been completed in time for to allow the Serbian to play.

The US Open wrote in a statement shortly after the news was confirmed that it is “very unfortunate" that Djokovic will be unable to take part, but added it looks forward to welcoming him back next year.

“Novak Djokovic withdrew from the US Open prior to the draw taking place this morning,” read a short message published to social media. 

“The official seeding list is not determined until the draw is made. As the Qualifying Tournament has commenced, his withdrawal resulted in a Lucky Loser being included in the draw.

“Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that 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-US citizens," added tournament director Stacey Allaster.

“We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open.”

Djokovic earned the latest of his 21 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon last month and is a three-time champion in New York. 

He repeated after his Wimbledon success that he is not willing to get vaccinated against coronavirus, even if it means missing out on the chance to win more titles.

Russia's Daniil Medvedev will be the defending champion and top seed at the US Open, and heads to the tournament in the world number one spot. 

Spanish 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal will also feature after returning from the lingering abdominal injury which forced him out of the Wimbledon semifinals in July. Nadal will be targeting a fifth US Open title overall.