Monday, August 8, 2022

Djokovic blows as US Open vows to respect government vaccination rules

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

The US requires non-citizens to enter the country to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, meaning Djokovic, who has repeatedly made it clear he will not take the vaccine, will be denied entry.

The Wimbledon winner, who was also suspended for the Australian Open for his anti-vaccination attitude, said after his SW19 success he was “hopefully waiting for some good news from the US” but it doesn’t look like it.

The 35-year-old – three-time champion at Flushing Meadows – was named on Wednesday’s entry list for the final Grand Slam of the year, but that’s more routine than an indication he’ll be allowed to play.

A statement from the US Open, which does not have its own vaccination rules, said: “According to the Grand Slam rule book, all eligible players will be automatically entered into the main draw fields for men and women based on the ranking 42 days before the first Monday of the event .

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

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

Williams, a six-time winner, signaled her intention to contest her home grand slam after signing on to play the majority of US hard court swing, including events in Toronto and Cincinnati.

Brit Kyle Edmund is also facing his first singles tournament in a Grand Slam in two years.

The 27-year-old’s career was derailed by a knee injury but he made his comeback at Wimbledon, playing in mixed doubles.

And he has used his protected rank of 48 to ensure he gets into the main draw.

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