Novak Djokovic says there is no ‘medical logic’ behind banning unvaccinated players from US Open

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon press conference

Novak Djokovic insists it won’t be “the end of the world” if he is not allowed to compete at the US Open due to his unvaccinated status, but he is puzzled by the fact that American players who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 can enter the tournament.

Having missed the defence of his Australian Open title at the start of the year, Djokovic returned to Grand Slam action at the French Open after coronavirus rules were relaxed while he was also given the green light to compete at Wimbledon.

However, the grass-court Grand Slam could be his final major of the year as unvaccinated people are not allowed to enter the United States and Djokovic has made it clear that he won’t change his mind about getting a jab to compete at the US Open.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner is adamant that he would not be travelling across the pond to Flushing Meadows.

“No unvaccinated people can enter the USA as of this moment,” he is quoted as saying by Tennis Majors. “I did hear unofficially that some people got away with it, some people who are not ‘famous’, but I would never even try to go to the USA if it is not allowed.

“Some people think that I made that mistake in Australia, but it was the contrary in fact – I had the exemption etc, let’s not go over the same story again. Bottom line is: if I am told that I cannot go, I won’t go, I would never put myself in such a position. Even if I get in, they would see me on TV playing tennis and pick me up!”

He then got serious and explained how the rules are conflicting as unvaccinated American citizens can compete in the US Open.

The Serbian added: “I have been texting with Tennys Sandgren a few days ago. I wanted to thank him for the public support he has given me in this situation.

“What he said makes total sense – if unvaccinated players are not allowed to compete at the US Open, then it should be the case for everyone. I don’t see the medical logic behind it, that Tennys can play because he is a citizen of the USA, and I cannot.

“If I had a US passport or a green card, I would be able to play. Maybe there is a political logic behind it – not medical – but I would rather not get into that and you can understand why.”

The 35-year-old continued: “Grand Slams are tournaments that are my priority at this stage of my career and of course I want to play in New York.

“On the other hand, if I do not get a chance to do so, it is not the end of the world, we will look ahead. But right now, I am completely focused on Wimbledon.”