The COVID-19 drama isn’t behind Novak Djokovic just yet … tennis officials confirmed the legendary player will NOT compete in the upcoming Grand Slam, the U.S. Open, unless he gets vaccinated.
The 35-year-old Serbian tennis star — who isn’t vaxxed against the virus — will not be on the court in Flushing Meadows, Queens … because the United States doesn’t currently allow unvaccinated, non-citizens to enter the country.
There was hope amongst tennis fans that something might be done to allow Novak to play … but on Wednesday officials squashed that idea.
“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the US government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-US citizens,” the Open announced.
Djokovic, a three-time U.S. Open champ, was also banned from the Australian Open for the same reason.
That story became one of the biggest and most polarizing in the sports world.
Technically, Djokovic still has time to get the jab … the tourney doesn’t kick off until August 29.
But, in the immediate aftermath of his victory over Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon (his 7th win), Novak reiterated his vax stance for anyone wondering if he had a change of heart with the Open looming.
“I’m not vaccinated, and I’m not planning to get vaccinated,” Djokovic said, according to ESPN.
Djokovic, however, remained optimistic that the policy in the USA on the COVID vaccine could change ahead of the tourney.
Unfortunately for ND, that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen … and it’s a big blow for Novak because he’s just one Grand Slam title behind Rafael Nadal for the all-time lead.
FYI, 36-year-old Rafa has 22. Novak 21. 40-year-old Roger Federer 20.
The downside for Djokovic … there’s only four Slams a year, and he isn’t getting any younger.