Djokovic confirms he will miss US Open over vaccination status

Serbian tennis player also missed Australian Open over vaccination stance

Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the US Open as he is unable to enter the United States border owing to his choice to be unvaccinated against Covid-19.

Djokovic, a 21-times grand slam champion, remained in the event until Thursday morning but then officially conceded he would not be able to travel to the United States to compete.

“Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,” wrote Djokovic on social media. “Thank you #NoleFam 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!”

During his run to the title at Wimbledon in July, Djokovic expressed his hope that the United States’ border policies would change, allowing unvaccinated non-citizens to enter the country so he could compete at Flushing Meadows.


While guidance for the US Centers for Disease Control website had been under review in previous days, an update on Wednesday confirmed that non-US citizens must show proof of being fully vaccinated before they fly to the United States. In a statement, the tournament director, Stacey Allaster, described Djokovic’s absence as unfortunate. “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. We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open,” she wrote.

The US Open marks the second grand slam of the year that Djokovic has missed due to his vaccination status. In January, Djokovic was detained in an immigration facility and then deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open after a series of legal hearings.

Djokovic is next scheduled to compete at the Davis Cup in September and then the Laver Cup in London the following week but it remains to be seen when he will next be allowed to compete at the grand slam tournament.

Under Australian border rules, non-citizens whose visas have been revoked are barred from applying for a new visa for three years. The new Australian government, led by Anthony Albanese, will likely make a decision on whether to uphold the ban at a later date.

Since Djokovic chose to withdraw after the qualifying draw had begun, a lucky loser will take his place in the draw.

- Guardian