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Novak Djokovic has missed playing in the United States due to his stance on COVID-19 vaccinations. The Serbian ace last played on US soil back in 2021. The US Open appearance remains his last in states, a fact that will change in the near future thanks to the US Senate.
The world’s greatest deliberative body voted to lift Covid-19 measures in the country this past Wednesday, a measure that will allow Novak to set foot inside the USA again.
At the height of the pandemic, the US government had mandated vaccinations for foreign visitors. Irrespective of their stature, international guests had to provide proof of vaccination and Djokovic found himself in contradiction of the requirements.
That will not be the case anymore as the US Senate passed a bill that will end mandated requirements of vaccination. It will now be sent to American President Joe Biden, whose signature will lift the barrier to entry for Djokovic.
The news has been a long time coming as it was cleared by the House of Representatives in early 2023. It was expected that the vaccine requirements will be lifted in May but the process has been expedited.
Based on this, Djokovic sought special exemptions to participate in the Sunshine Double. His requests were denied, forcing him to miss out on the Miami Open and Indian Wells.
Novak Djokovic Set to Play US Open 2023
As mentioned above, Novak Djokovic has the green light to play in the 2023 US Open. With the imminent relaxation of rules relating to COVID vaccination requirements, there are no reasons that he won’t be permitted to play. Barring an injury, all roads are clear for Djokovic to play in the 2023 US Open.
Serb Missed Indian Wells and Miami Open
While it’s great news that Djokovic should be able to compete in the US Open in September, he wasn’t allowed to compete in these two Masters events. He did apply for a special exemption, which was denied. Failure to participate in the two Masters events saw the Serb lose his number 1 ranking to Carlos Alcaraz, who is the reigning US Open champion and added the Indian Wells title to his glowing resume.
While having no regrets about missing competition in the US and the number 1 ranking, the 22 Grand Slam winner’s wishes of playing at Flushing Meadows will be fulfilled. Djokovic will welcome the news but his focus will be on the 2023 Srpska Open Banja Luka.
Hasn’t Competed in US Open Since 2021
It’s fair to say that 2022 was a pretty rough year for Novak Djokovic. He was banned from competing in two of the four Grand Slams, and he still managed to win one of them. However, since he was not allowed to travel to the USA in 2022, he missed the final slam of the year. And the last time he played there was when he was shooting for the calendar slam, although he fell short by losing to Medvedev in the final.
Last Won the US Open in 2018
With Djokovic being a serial winner of Grand Slam events, it seems crazy to say that he hasn’t won this tournament since 2018. In fact, he has only won the US Open three times, which is just one more than his number of French Open titles. So for me, he will be more motivated than usual to capture the US Open title in 2023.