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Djokovic extra-motivated for Wimbledon because of likely USA shut-out

The top seed will not be allowed to play at the US Open because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19

Novak Djokovic practice Wimbledon Action Plus/Panoramic

As a six-time winner at Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic probably doesn’t need too many reasons to get himself up for the tournament.

But after an annus horribilis in 2022, when he was deported from Australia because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19, Djokovic heads into Wimbledon with an added reason to do well.

That’s because under current US laws, he will not be allowed to enter the country and therefore will miss the final slam of the year, the US Open.

“Well, you’re right, as of today I’m not allowed to enter the States under these circumstances,” he admitted. “Yes, of course, I’m aware of that. That is an extra motivation to do well here.

“Hopefully I can have a very good tournament, as I have done in the last three editions. Then I’ll just have to wait and see. I would love to go to States. But as of today, that’s not possible.

“There is not much I can do any more. I mean, it’s really up to the U.S. government to make a decision whether or not they allow unvaccinated people to go into the country.”

Djokovic trying to equal Sampras

Djokovic also said equalling Pete Sampras with seven wins is another motivation factor.

“I would love to be in a position to fight for another trophy,” he said. “Well, I am in the position, but I would like to be in the last match to eventually make history, of course, of this tournament that, as I said, as a seven-, eight-year-old boy I’ve dreamt of winning Wimbledon and becoming No 1. That was always biggest motivation I had as a kid.

“Pete Sampras, winning his first Wimbledon, was the first tennis match I’ve ever seen on the TV. So, of course, there’s a lot of connection to this tournament. Pete has won it seven times, if I’m not mistaken. Hopefully, yeah, I can do the same this year.”

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