Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to Daniil Medvedev of Russia during their men’s final match on the fourteenth day of the US Open Tennis Championships. EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO
The US Open is officially closed for Novak Djokovic.
As expected, the 21-time Grand Slam champion will not play the US Open, which begins on Monday in Flushing Meadows.
The unvaccinated Djokovic had hoped the U.S. government would ease restrictions prohibiting foreign travelers who have not taken the COVID-19 vaccine from entering the country.
However, the tournament and Djokovic both announced his withdrawal ahead of this afternoon’s draw.
Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open. Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support. ❤️ Good luck to my fellow players! I’ll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. 💪🏼 See you soon tennis world! 👋🏼
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) August 25, 2022
The US Open announced Djokovic’s withdrawal in this statement:
Novak Djokovic withdrew from the 2022 US Open prior to the draw taking place this morning. The official seeding list is not determined until the draw is made. As the Qualifying Tournament has commenced, his withdrawal resulted in a Lucky Loser being included in the draw.
“Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he will be unable to compete at the 2022 US Open, as he is unable to enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-U.S.citizens,” US Open Tournament Director Stacey Allaster said. “We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open.”
A statement from the US Open: pic.twitter.com/E5ijwpkKjS
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 25, 2022
The 35-year-old Serbian is scheduled to represent his country in Davis Cup next month and play Laver Cup at London’s O2 Arena alongside fellow Big 4 icons Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.
The US Open signaled the Serbian’s impending absence when it issued the official 2022 US Open poster and Djokovic was glaringly absent from the image, which shows several stars gazing to the US Open light above the New York City skyline in a nod to Batman and Gotham City.
It marks the first time since 2017 Djokovic will miss the Flushing Meadows major.
In Djokovic’s absence both world No. 1 defending champion Daniil Medvedev and reigning Australian Open and Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal loom as the two strong favorites for the US Open.