‘Fingers crossed!’: Novak Djokovic hopeful he can compete at US Open

Published July 30, 2022
<p>Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic performs during the opening of a regional tennis centre that will prepare top tennis players for major tournaments, in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, July 13. — Reuters</p>

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic performs during the opening of a regional tennis centre that will prepare top tennis players for major tournaments, in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, July 13. — Reuters

Novak Djokovic on Saturday said he is preparing for the US Open as if he will be allowed to compete at the hardcourt major, despite his refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine.

Djokovic, who has three US Open titles, will not be able to participate in this year’s US Open due to current rules under which travellers seeking to enter the US have to be fully vaccinated and provide proof before boarding flights.

Earlier this month, the 35-year-old was included in the entry list for the August 29-September 11 Grand Slam in New York.

“I am preparing as if I will be allowed to compete, while I await to hear if there is any room for me to travel to the US,” Djokovic said in a post on Instagram along with a video of him practicing.

“Fingers crossed!”

More than 43,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the United States Tennis Association to work with the US government to allow 21-time major champion Djokovic to compete in the US Open.

Djokovic won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles last year but was unable to defend his Melbourne Park crown this year after being deported from Australia over his vaccination status in January.

The Serbian later said he was prepared to miss Grand Slam tournaments rather than take the Covid-19 vaccine.

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