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‘I don’t see the logic’ – Djokovic weighs in on rules preventing him from playing US Open

There has been yet more discussion about Novak Djokovic’s vaccination status and how it currently prevents him from entering the US for the final Slam of the year

Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic after his practice session finishes (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Novak Djokovic is playing his second and last Grand Slam of the year at Wimbledon – and has spoken to Serbian journalists about his disgruntlement at the law preventing him from entering the USA.

Djokovic was deported from Australia earlier this year due to being unvaccinated, although he thought the government had accepted the exemption he had provided to Tennis Australia.

The US, meanwhile, are not permitting unvaccinated non-nationals to enter the country – but the former world No 1 thinks that he is being treated unfairly because American citizens opting out of vaccination, such as Tennys Sandgren, will still be able to compete at Flushing Meadows.

“No unvaccinated people can enter the USA as of this moment,” said the 35-year-old. “I did hear unofficially that some people got away with it, some people who are not ‘famous’, but I would never even try to go to the USA if it is not allowed. Some people think that I made that mistake in Australia, but it was the contrary in fact – I had the exemption etc, let’s not go over the same story again. Bottom line is: if I am told that I cannot go, I won’t go, I would never put myself in such a position. Even if I get in, they would see me on TV playing tennis and pick me up!

Novak Djokovic, Melbourne airport, 2022
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic walks in Melbourne Airport before boarding a flight, after the Federal Court upheld a government decision to cancel his visa to play in the Australian Open, in Melbourne, Australia, January 16, 2022. || 218124_0019

“On a more serious note, I have been texting 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 total sense – if unvaccinated players are not allowed to compete at the US Open, then it should be the case for everyone. I don’t see the medical logic behind it, that Tennys can play because he is a citizen of the USA, and I cannot. If I had a US passport or a green card, I would be able to play. Maybe there is a political logic behind it – not medical – but I would rather not get into that and you can understand why.”

However, Djokovic is not intending to dwell on the situation – and instead will look ahead to other tournaments and his schedule for the next year.

“Grand Slams are tournaments that are my priority at this stage of my career and of course I want to play in New York,” he added. “On the other hand, if I do not get a chance to do so, it is not the end of the world, we will look ahead. But right now, I am completely focused on Wimbledon.”

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3 responses to “‘I don’t see the logic’ – Djokovic weighs in on rules preventing him from playing US Open

  1. Djikovic is not only the greatest tennis player. But greatest human being. US ID totally wrong to not admit him. US should feel honored and it should ” get vaccinated” against prejudice!!

  2. It is totally absurd that the U.S. is allowing unvaccinated, untested illegals with who knows what diseases into this country, shipping them all over the place and yet Djokovic cannot enter the country.

  3. Novak already decided that he would stay unvaccinated even if he does not play some majors. Good for thinking about what is good for himself. The US government has also decided not to allow foreigners to visit the US unless they are vaccinated. The US Open has nothing to do with that decision. Once you are inside the US, you can do whatever you want as long as it is legal including playing tennis. The problem is this: the US government allowed you to not be vaccinated. But why are you questioning their decision to not allow unvaccinated foreigners like you to enter the US? Sometimes law does not require logic but they need to be followed. If you are at peace with your decision to be unvaccinated forever, deal with your decision and stop whining.

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