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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Novak Djokovic attacks the US Open: “A political question”

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Novak Djokovic sees Wimbledon 2022 as his only chance of winning a Grand Slam title, for now. After the stormy events in Australia and the quarter-final exit against Rafael Nadal at the Roland Garros, the Serbian tennis player is still in the running for the title at Wimbledon, which represents the only chance not to be without a Grand Slam this season.

This is because unvaccinated people cannot enter USA: consequently, no US Open for Djokovic. The Serb explained: “No unvaccinated person can enter the United States at this time. I would never try to go to the United States if it wasn’t allowed.

Some people think I made that mistake in Australia, but actually it was the other way around: I had the exemption etc, we never go back to the same story. The bottom line is: if they told me I can’t go, I won’t go, I would never put myself in such a position.

Even if I walked in, they would see me playing tennis on TV and they would pick me up!”

Sandgren’s support

Djokovic, therefore, could miss the US Open, but the motivation does not pertain to the tournament: the unvaccinated cannot enter the US, but can participate in the tournament if they are already in the country.

That’s what Tennys Sandgren explained, also showing support for the Serbian: “I exchanged messages with Tennys Sandgren a few days ago. I wanted to thank him for the public support he has given me in this situation.

What he said makes perfect sense: if unvaccinated players weren’t allowed to compete in the US Open, then that should be the case for everyone. I don’t see the medical logic behind that, that Tennys can play because he’s a citizen of the United States, and I am not.

If I had a US passport or green card, I would be able to play. Maybe there is a political logic behind it, not a medical one, but I’d rather not go into that and you can see why.”

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