Will Djokovic come to the US Open to take the title from Medvedev?
While the coronavirus has subsided in Europe, it is still rampant outside the Old World. All foreign nationals who enter the United States must still be vaccinated. And while this is not a problem for most of the tennis tour, it is still a stumbling block for one of the main stars of the men’s tour, Serbian Novak Djokovic.
On the bid sheet
The day before the announcement that the US Open would not require mandatory vaccinations for tennis players, a petition appeared calling for Djokovic to be allowed to compete at the US Open. It was signed by more than 22,000 people. A statement from the organizers said, “The U.S. Open does not have a mandate to vaccinate players, but will respect the U.S. government’s position on the entry of unvaccinated foreign nationals into the country.”
Bottom line: we don’t insist on the coronavirus vaccination, but because the U.S. government requires it of foreign nationals, you won’t be able to enter. That’s why the Serb may not show up at the last “major” of the season. Because of this ban, Nole has already missed a series of tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami in the first half of the season. He will also miss the Cincinnati Masters in mid-August.
Nonetheless, Djokovic is on the entry list for both the Cincinnati tournament and the US Open. True. But don’t rush to rejoice. The organizers explained: it is a formality, all players who are eligible according to the ATP and WTA rankings as of July 18 are automatically enrolled in the list of participants.
Vorachova got an acquittal from the Australians
A loophole out of this situation could be a personal official permission from the U.S. government. The main thing is not to repeat the Australian story. Back then, Novak said, he, too, was allowed to enter the country because of a medical exemption, but the visa was later revoked, arguing that it was in the interest of protecting the health of Australian citizens. “A lot of people think that I forced my way into Australia, tried to enter without the right documents, permission or exemption, but that’s not true. And the court proved that,” Djokovic told the BBC.
The name of Czech tennis player Renata Vorachova, who also had her visa revoked and was deported from Australia as a result, also flashed in that situation. Like Djokovic, Vorachova had not been vaccinated and was initially allowed to enter the country thanks to a medical exemption issued by Tennis Australia on behalf of the Victorian government. And six months later, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal overturned her visa cancellation, finding all the evidence necessary to legally resolve the issue. That is, Djokovic was not able to argue his medical excuse (given that the previously suffered COVID-19 is not a condition for medical suspension), but Vorakova, who had medical indications for the postponement of vaccination (she is vulnerable to thrombosis) – everything worked out. Here we should also note that Renata is not an anti-vaxxer.
Djokovic still has until August 29 to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, but he will not do so. The potential non-participation at the US Open was an additional motivator for the Serb at Wimbledon, where he took his seventh grass “slam.” He was not awarded 2,000 points for that win, which dropped Novak to fifth place in the rankings. If he misses the New York majors, the Serb will lose another 1,200 points, since he was a finalist last year. Depending on how other tennis players perform, the Serb could potentially drop out of the top 10 after the tournament in the U.S. The only consolation is Novak, who said he is no longer chasing the number one ATP ranking, as he has already broken the record for the number of weeks as world number one. It seems that the plot of the current difficult season in tennis comes to a close.