Novak Djokovic backed over Rafael Nadal as Serb seeks US Open permission from…

Express Sport readers have tipped Novak Djokovic to beat Rafael Nadal to the US Open title if Joe Biden intervenes to allow the legendary Serbian to enter the country. The 35-year-old’s participation in the final grand slam of the year is under serious doubt as his Covid vaccination status means he is unable to access America.

The US is currently denying entry to any foreign national who has not received two doses of an approved Coronavirus vaccine meaning Djokovic does not qualify. The Wimbledon champion has made no secret about his unwillingness to be vaccinated and it has already hampered his tennis career, with the star being deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open earlier this year.

Djokovic needs US president Biden to change the law or to offer him an exemption if he is to have any chance of playing in the competition. However, with just three weeks to go until the season-ending slam, the chances of either are looking increasingly slim.

The 21-time major champion is continuing to train as normal in preparation for the tournament in the hope he will be able to play. Should the unlikely scenario arise where he is able to play, Express Sport readers believe he is the favourite to win the competition over other tennis stars like Nadal and Daniil Medvedev.

Responding to the question: “Who will win the US Open if Novak Djokovic DOES play?” 42% of Express Sport readers said that they believed the Serb would end up winning the tournament.
Nadal gained the second highest proportion of the vote with 30% of readers stating they thought he would claim the trophy while Medvedev was third highest on 14%.

Carlos Alcaraz and Nick Kyrgios were deemed to be outside with the pair winning 6% and 4% of the vote respectively.
World No 1 Medvedev has waded into the debate surrounding the Serbian’s participation, speaking of the negative consequences that could come from offering an exemption to Djokovic alone.
“I don’t want to talk about the reasons for these decisions, because many people died during the pandemic,” the Russian began. “If we change the rules, there will be those who will rebel, because they are banned from entering the country, so they cannot work.”

However, he was also keen to stress that on a personal level he did want the three-time champion to have an opportunity to compete.

“Personally, if we are talking only from the point of view of tennis, without thinking about different positions, I want Novak to play at the US Open,” the 26-year-old explained.
It remains to be seen whether or not Djokovic will have the opportunity to compete when the tournament gets underway at Flushing Meadow on Monday 29th August.

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