World’s Best Tennis Player Banned from US Open Over Vaccination Status
Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic will not be allowed to participate in the US Open this year because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Djokovic did not participate in the 2021 US Open for the same reason. In January, he was blocked from the 2022 Australian Open and was deported from the country after attempts to reinstate his visa were denied. His ability to attend the 2023 French Open is still up in the air.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) doesn’t have a vaccine mandate in place for players, but says it will obey the CDC’s requirement that all foreign travelers to the US be fully vaccinated before boarding flights.
“The only good news I can have is them revamping the mandated green vaccination card…to enter the US,” said Djokovic. “Based on all the information that I got, I decided not to take the vaccine.”
Djokovic is the champion of four consecutive Wimbledon titles and is viewed by many as the greatest tennis player of all time.
His absence at the US Open reflects poorly on the USTA and will be a major disappointment for fans.
“Pretty shameful that the USTA won’t fight for an exemption for Novak,” tweeted Tennys Sandgren, an American tennis player who is allowed to participate in the US Open even though he is not vaccinated. “No surprise the government hasn’t changed its archaic policy. I can play but he can’t? Ridiculous.”
More than 12,000 people have signed a petition asking the USTA to make an exception for Djokovic.
“There is absolutely no reason at this stage of the pandemic to not allow Djokovic to play at the US Open 2022,” reads the petition. “US government and USTA Must work together to allow him to play. If unvaccinated American players can play, Djokovic as one of the legends of the game must be allowed to play.”