Twenty-one-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic has announced his absence from the upcoming US Open through a Twitter post Thursday.
Djokovic has not been vaccinated against Covid-19 throughout the pandemic, and current US rules state that any non-US citizen must be fully vaccinated against the virus to receive a visa and enter the country.
The Serbian, 35, wrote: “Sadly I won’t be able to travel to New York for the US Open this time. Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support.
“Good luck to my fellow players! I will stay in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!”
US Open tournament director Stacy Allaster said in a statement: “Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he will not be able to compete in the 2022 US Open as he cannot enter the country because of the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-US citizens.
“We look forward to welcoming Novak back to the 2023 US Open.”
The US Open statement also noted that as a result of Djokovic’s withdrawal after the qualifiers began, one “lucky loser” will be entered into the draw.
Djokovic reveals the price he is willing to pay for his vaccine position
Djokovic was deported from Australia in January, preventing his participation in the Australian Open, for his refusal to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Djokovic won the last tennis major at Wimbledon in July. She was unable to compete in Indian Wells or the Miami Open in March due to the same US travel regulations.
The draw for this year’s US Open will take place at noon on Thursday. The tournament will take place from August 29 to September 11.