Sports, Tennis

‘Not going to America if I don’t have permission’: Djokovic

Published : 16 Jul 2022 12:17 AM

Novak Djokovic intends to compete at the US Open at the end of August, but will not risk a reoccurrence of the vaccination-related furore that saw him deported from Australia.

The Serbian lifted his seventh Wimbledon title earlier this month, moving level with Pete Sampras for the second-most wins at the All England Club, only behind Roger Federer (eight).

Djokovic also returned to just one grand slam title behind Rafael Nadal's record of 22, with the US Open that starts on August 29 the final headline act of the 2022 season. While Djokovic enjoyed more Wimbledon success, it was only his second major of the year after the world number seven missed the Australian Open in January due to his refusal to be vaccinated.

His insistence to not take the vaccination against COVID-19 also saw him miss the Indian Wells Masters in March, owing to the United States' Covid-19 rulings. The United States still does not allow unvaccinated foreigners to enter the country without an exemption -- meaning Djokovic's ability to appear in New York is in doubt.

Despite expressing his hopes to feature at the hard-court major, Djokovic insisted he will not be willing to face a repeat of the ongoings in Australia in order to compete.

"I'm not going to go to America if I don't have permission, the Australian saga for me was not pleasant at all," he said after opening a tennis complex in the Bosnian town of Visoko. "People still think I forced my way to Australia and tried to come in with no papers, permission or exemption – it is not true.