Cincinnati ( Associated Press) – Novak Djokovic was ruled out of a hard-court tournament in Cincinnati on Friday because he has not received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and cannot travel to the United States.
That is why the Serbian player will be absent from the US Open, the last Grand Slam of the year, starting in New York on 29 August.
The 35-year-old Djokovic has won 21 major tournaments, one less than the record holder Rafael Nadal in the men’s section.
The Balkan tennis player has said that he will not be vaccinated against the disease caused by the coronavirus, even though it prevents him from participating in some tournaments. He did not play the Australian Open in January after being deported from the country for not being vaccinated.
He hasn’t played in two tournaments this year in the United States as well as one in Montreal this week.
Foreigners who have not been vaccinated cannot enter Canada or the United States. The Cincinnati tournament issued a statement announcing Djokovic’s return due to “travel restrictions”.
Djokovic was expected to participate in the US Open, but that would require a change in government policy, which is followed by the country’s tennis federation.
Djokovic, a three-time US Open champion, was a finalist last year, but lost to Daniil Medvedev.
Other players who withdrew from the tournament in Cincinnati include defending champion Alexander Zverev, a 2020 US Open finalist who tore an ankle ligament at the French Open in June, as well as Gael Monfils, Reilly Opelka, Oscar Otte and Dominic Thiem. injured. Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins withdrew from the women’s tournament with a neck injury, while three-time champion Angelique Kerber changed her schedule and chose not to play in Cincinnati.
Serena Williams is part of the tournament, which will be one of her final appearances on the WTA Tour.