With just 42 days left before the 2022 edition of the US Open kicks off at the Flushing Meadows, more trouble arrived for Novak Djokovic as the Wimbledon champion’s possible return to ATP is all set to be derailed. The news came amid the ongoing debate surrounding his participation in the US Open over his vaccination status.
Djokovic is among the few tennis players left who are yet to be vaccinated. He was deported from Australia earlier this year owing the same, which barred him from defending his Australian Open title. And now, Djokovic has been banned from playing in the United States, where entry of unvaccinated foreigners has been denied. Hence, the 35-year-old will not be part of the North American hardcourt swing and the 2022 US Open.
He however did have one hope left, the Canadian Open, which will begin in the first week of August in Montreal. But Canada’s health minister Jean-Yves Duclos, in a recent press conference, revealed that the fight against Covid-19 is yet not over and hence the rule applies to all.
“Well first, the rules apply to everyone. There are a few exceptions but these are limited exceptions. So first of all, the rules apply to everyone, and second, COVID-19 is not over yet. And again, we need to be mindful of the fact that despite we have been so successful with two doses, we need to up our game and have more Canadians being up to date on their vaccination status,” Duclos said.
This implies, Djokovic is unlikely to make an ATP appearance until the end of US Open, leaving Rafael Nadal to chance to extend his lead in the all-time Grand Slam list.
Djokovic however remains hopeful that the US Open ban and the suspension on his Australia visa are both lifted soon.
“I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated, so the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter the United States, or exemption. I don’t think an exemption is realistically possible. I’ll wait for some good news from the US because I would really love to go there,” Djokovic said.