LONDON — Just hours after winning his fourth straight title at Wimbledon with a four-set victory over Nick Kyrgios, Novak Djokovic confirmed he has no plans to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and will not be playing the US Open unless the restrictions to enter the country are eased or he is given a medical exemption.
“I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated so the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter United States or exemption,” Djokovic said Sunday. “I don’t know. I don’t think exemption is realistically possible. If that is possibility, I don’t know what exemption would be about.
“I don’t know. I don’t have much answers there.”
Having won all three of the first majors in 2021, Djokovic’s bid for the elusive Calendar Grand Slam was spoiled by Daniil Medvedev in last year’s US Open final. He was then unable to play at the Australian Open to begin this year after being deported from the country.
Currently Djokovic, 35, will not be able to play Down Under in 2023 either as he’s not eligible for a visa. He acknowledged he was unsure when he would next be able to play a competitive match during his victory news conference Sunday.
“I am on vacation,” Djokovic said. “Whether or not I’m playing any tournament soon, I’ll definitely be resting for the next couple weeks because it has been quite an exhausting and demanding period for me the last few months. A lot of tennis, which I was very happy about. I got what I wanted here.
“Then I’ll wait hopefully for some good news from USA because I would really love to go there. That would be probably the next big tournament, the next big swing, playing a tournament or two before US Open and US Open. If that doesn’t happen, then I have to see what the schedule will look like.”
Djokovic, who is currently ranked No. 3, will fall to No. 7 in the rankings Monday as Wimbledon was stripped of its ranking points this year as a result of the tournament’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Djokovic’s ranking will continue to fall if he is unable to defend his runner-up status in New York. The US Open is set to begin Aug. 29.