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SportsWatch: Novak Djokovic will miss U.S. Open over vaccination status

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Tennis star Novak Djokovic will miss the 2022 U.S. Open due to his vaccination status against COVID-19.

Djokovic announced the news on Twitter
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on Thursday morning while saying he will “keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again.”

Djokovic, 35, cannot travel into the U.S. because he is not vaccinated. The rule is one mandated by the federal government and not the U.S. Open itself or the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Djokovic is Serbian and not a U.S. citizen.

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In the past, Djokovic has said he won’t get a COVID-19 shot, even if that prevents him from playing in certain tennis tournaments.

“Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he will be unable to compete at the 2022 U.S. Open, as he is unable to enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-U.S.citizens,” U.S. Open tournament director Stacey Allaster told The Wall Street Journal. “We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open.”

Djokovic missed the Australian Open in January after a protracted legal saga ended with his deportation from that country because he isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. He also sat out four significant tournaments in North America in 2022, including in Montreal and Cincinnati recently.

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After beating Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final on July 10, Djokovic said he “would love” to participate in the last Grand Slam tournament of the year at Flushing Meadows, but he also acknowledged, “I’m not planning to get vaccinated.”

The U.S. Open will begin on Monday in New York City.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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