Sports

Djokovic hopes virus rules change to allow him to play US Open

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic.

Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic hopes US authorities will change entry requirements in time for him to compete in the US Open, despite refusing to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

The Serbian top seed defeated Nick Kyrgios in four sets on Sunday to win his seventh All England Club title and 21st Grand Slam crown overall – just one behind Rafael Nadal.

He is now targeting a fourth US Open crown after losing to Daniil Medvedev in the final last year.

But as things stand, his unvaccinated status means he will not be allowed to enter the United States to compete in the tournament, which begins next month.

“I have not been vaccinated and do not intend to be vaccinated, so the only good news I can have is that they require the mandatory green vaccination card or whatever you call it to enter the United States, or a Remove the exemption,” said the 35-year-old. old.

“I don’t think an exemption is realistically possible … I think it’s just a matter of whether they remove that in time for me to come to the US.”

The Serb was expelled from Australia in January over his vaccination status, which prevented him from defending his title at the Australian Open.

Djokovic admitted it had been a difficult start to the year and it had taken him months to recover.

“It definitely affected me in the first few months of the year,” he said. “I didn’t feel great in general. I mean, mentally, emotionally, I wasn’t in a good place.

“I wanted to play, but at the same time, when I walked onto the pitch in Dubai, the first tournament of the year, I just felt so much pressure and emotion.

“I wasn’t comfortable on the pitch. I realized at that point that it’s going to take time, that I have to be patient and sooner or later I’ll get to the state, the optimal state, where I want to be.”

“Tough Year”

Djokovic’s coach, former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, said it had been a “rough year” for the player.

But he said he never doubted Djokovic would recover, describing him as ‘heroic’.

“You don’t doubt people like him,” he said. “He’s a great champion. They say it may have taken a long time, but it didn’t take long.

“He took exactly the time he needed to recover and digest all the things that happened to him.”

Djokovic, whose Wimbledon triumph was his fourth straight at the All England Club, said he is now taking a much-needed holiday.

“I’m on vacation,” he said. “Whether I’m going to play a tournament soon or not, I’ll definitely be resting for the next few weeks because the past few months have been quite a trying and demanding time for me.

“A lot of tennis, which made me very happy. I got what I wanted here. Then I’ll hopefully wait for good news from the USA, because that’s where I’d really like to go.”

The former world number one said he doesn’t feel pressured to play a specific schedule.

“I reached this historic number 1, weeks for the number 1 that I have worked for my whole life. Now that that’s done and dusted, I’m really prioritizing slams and big tournaments and where I want to play where I feel good.”

Djokovic also said he felt encouraged by the Wimbledon crowd on Sunday – he often put up an uphill battle to win over fans when playing against Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.

“I definitely felt support and love from the crowd today, so I’m very grateful for that,” he said.

“Obviously it’s no secret that any player would love to have people supporting them during the game because at the end of the day that could make a pretty big difference in how you’re feeling mentally.”

Djokovic hopes virus rules change to allow him to play US Open

Source link Djokovic hopes virus rules change to allow him to play US Open

Back to top button