Friday, September 30, 2022

Tennis: Djokovic will miss US Open as unable to travel to New York without COVID vaccine

Tennis: Djokovic will miss US Open as unable to travel to New York without COVID vaccine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former world number one Novak Djokovic will miss the US Open after he said on Thursday that he will not be able to travel to New York for the tournament,having chosen not to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Current rules require travellers to show proof of full vaccination to board flights to and enter the United States.

"Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open," Djokovic wrote on Twitter. "Good luck to my fellow players! I'll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again."

The Serbian previously said he was prepared to miss Grand Slam tournaments that require participating players to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Djokovic was on the entry list for the Aug. 29-Sept. 11 tournament in New York.

The 35-year-old was also unable to defend his Australian Open crown this year after being deported from the country over his vaccination status.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) described Djokovic's absence as "unfortunate" but looked forward to having him back at Flushing Meadows next year.

"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," said US Open tournament director Stacey Allaster in a statement.