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Novak Djokovic breaks silence on upcoming US Open absence

Fans had been wondering for months

novak djokovic vaccine us open
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
August 25, 2022
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After much speculation on whether Novak Djokovich would be participating in the US Open given his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine, the tennis player has finally confirmed he will not be playing.

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While the US has lifted many of its pandemic restrictions, it still requires travelers from foreign countries to have been vaccinated, which Novak is not.

The star broke his silence on his upcoming absence with a statement on Twitter, hours before the draw for the tournament, which begins next Monday, 29 August.

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In his statement, he said: "Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for [the] US Open."

He then added: "Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support. Good luck to my fellow players!"

The 35-year-old Serbia native maintained that he would not opt out of other future tournaments that permitted his attendance, stating: "I'll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!"

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Novak's statement was widely considered inevitable

Discussions surrounding Novak's controversial vaccine stance kicked off in January 2022, when he received an exemption  to enter Australia – notorious for its strict COVID-19 rules – to play for the Australian Open but he was later deported. He sent a case to the courts pleading for a stay to play the championship but was denied. He only played one match.

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Since, he was also able to play in the French Open as well as Wimbledon in London.

dojak djokovic australian open visa© Photo: Getty Images

Novak only played one match in the Australian Open before being deported

The US Open, which is held in New York's Arthur Ashe stadium, will run from 29 August to 11 September. It will be quite the eventful year for the classic tennis tournament, as not only will it of course feature some of tennis' biggest stars, but it will also set the stage for Serena Williams' final tennis competition.

She announced she would be retiring earlier this year with an as-told-to story in Vogue, citing that she is ready to expand her family.

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