Novak Djokovic: will tennis world No. 1 be able to compete at US Open 2022? Covid vaccination rules explained

The Wimbledon 2022 winner is unlikely to feature at the fourth Grand Slam of the year.

Novak Djokovic won his 21st Grand Slam at Wimbledon earlier in July 2022 after a fiercly fought battle with Nick Kyrgios in the final.

However, his bid to record the same number of Grand Slams as close rival Rafael Nadal may have to wait as the Serbian world number one is likely to be forced to sit out of the upcoming US Open.

Djokovic was deported from Australia back in January, forcing him to miss out on the first Grand Slam of the year due to his vaccination status.

While he was initially granted a medical exemption to play in the tournament, it later transpired that his reasonings did not fit accordingly with what was necessary by the Victorian Government and he was later required to return to Serbia.

Now it would appear Djokovic is set to miss out on yet another tournament due to remaining unvaccinated against Covid-19.

What has the US Open said?

A recent statement from the US Open confirmed that: “Per the Grand Slam Rule book, all eligible players are automatically entered into the men’s and women’s singles main draw fields based on ranking 42 days prior to the first Monday of the event.

Djokovic in 2020 at US Open

“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the US government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-US citizens.”

This will mean that, as it stands, Djokovic will be unable to enter the US to compete in the fourth and final Grand Slam of the 2022 calendar.

Currently, there is a petition which thousands of Djokovic fans have signed to allow him to play in the tournament.

What has Novak Djokovic said?

After winning the Wimbledon title in July, Djokovic said he would “wait hopefully for some good news.”

Djokovic has been strongly against personally receiving the vaccination, stating he would prefer to never play again rather than be forced to get vaccinated.

Speaking after his deportation back in January, the 35-year-old told the BBC that “I was never against vaccination, but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.

“(I have) always been a great student of wellness, wellbeing, health and nutrition”

He revealed that his decision has been influenced by factors including the effects changing his diet and sleep patterns, have had on his abilities to compete.

Additionally, he added that missing competitions would be “the price I’m willing to pay” if it meant not being vaccinated.

How many times as Novak Djokovic won the US Open?

Djokovic has won the Grand Slam in Flushing Meadows three times. He has also reached the final on six occasions, including his most recent trip to New York in 2021.

His loss to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the final prevented the Serbian from becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win a calendar-year Grand Slam (winning all four Grand Slams in one year)

When is the US Open 2022?

The tournament is scheduled to begin on Monday 29 August and conclude on Sunday 11 September.

It is currently unknown whether the 2021 men’s champion Daniil Medvedev will be able to defend his title due to the US stance over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Emma Raducanu will however be present to defend her women’s singles title in Flushing Meadows.