Novak Djokovic has basically given up on the idea of somehow playing the US Open, with the Serb confessing on Saturday that the entire COVID vaccine affair is out of his hands.
The unvaxxed Wimbledon defending champion is banned from the US and will therefore miss the US Open unless the law refusing entry to unjabbed foreigners were to change.
The world No. 3 seems resigned to his fate on the sidelines this summer as he heads into Monday’s Wimbledon start.
“I’m not allowed to enter the States,” he said, adding that he had absolutely no chance of reversing the anti-vaxx stance which has caused him to get detained and deported from Australia when he tried to enter there without his jabs in January.
The 35-year-old appeared somewhat downbeat as he entered the Grand Slam which he will be playing for prestige – and money – only after Wimbledon was stripped of ranking points for its ban on Russian and Belarus players.
“Ranking points are important but I’m not now chasing them as I have before,” the 20-time Grand Slam winner said.
“They are not as important as a priority. But at least 90 per cent of the players here are affected by the (lack of ) points.
“Already this year I’ve not been able to defend 4,000 points (Melbourne and Wimbledon titles from 2021).”
Djokovic sidestepped the sensitive issue of the tournament ban on Russian and Belarus players due to the invasion of Ukraine.
With his own Balkan nation’s strong ties to Russia, Djokovic had to step delicately.
“I can’t say I fully agree to ban Russians from competing indefinitely, I don’t see how players have contributed to anything that is happening (invasion of a neighboring country)
“It’s not fair, they deserve to compete, none of them has supported any war or anything like that.”
The Serb called the situation “very sensitive.”
“Anything you say will be judged. I understand both sides, hard to say what is right, what is wrong,”