MONTREAL ( Associated Press) – Novak Djokovic withdrew from the upcoming Montreal Masters on Thursday because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19 and was therefore unable to enter Canada.
Which is why if the current restrictions are in place, the Serbian star will be barred from playing the US Open at the end of the month.
Djokovic, 35, has said he will not be vaccinated, even though it prevents him from participating in some tournaments. In January, he missed the Australian Open after being deported from that country. And this year, he had to miss two competitions in the United States.
He played the French Open, where he lost in the quarterfinals to Rafael Nadal, and Wimbledon, where he won his 21st Grand Slam title last month.
He is one way off Nadal’s record.
Foreigners who have not been vaccinated cannot travel to Canada or the United States, so Djokovic withdrew from the Montreal tournament the day before the draw. He will also miss the US Open, which begins in New York on August 29.
Over the weekend, Djokovic posted on social media that he still looked forward to playing in the United States.
“I’m preparing as if I’m going to be allowed to compete while I wait to hear if there’s a chance for me to travel to the United States. Fingers crossed!”
After defeating Nick Kyrgios in the final on July 10 at Wimbledon, Djokovic said he would love to participate in the final Grand Slam event of the year.
However, he admitted: “I have no plans to get vaccinated.”
Djokovic has won the US Open three times. His loss to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in last year’s final prevented him from becoming the first tennis player since Rod Laver in 1967 to win an all-men’s Grand Slam tournament in a single year.
Oscar Otte also withdrew from Montreal on Thursday.
Four invitations were given: three-time major champion Andy Murray, David Goffin, Vasek Pospisil and Alexis Gallerno.
Nadal, who withdrew from the Wimbledon semi-finals due to an abdominal strain, is still set to play in Montreal.