Novak Djokovic picked up his 21st Grand Slam title Sunday with a victory at Wimbledon over Nick Kyrgios, but he may not get a chance this year to contend for a 22nd championship.
Djokovic’s coronavirus vaccination status will be a storyline heading into the U.S. Open next month.
Non-U.S. citizens who are unvaccinated against the illness are not permitted in the U.S. Djokovic wasn’t allowed to play the Australian Open earlier this year after his vaccine exemption was thought to have been approved but was later denied.
He was later deported from the country.
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ESPN broadcaster Chris Fowler raised the possibility of Djokovic not playing the U.S. Open to McEnroe, his analyst partner. The tennis legend said Djokovic should be allowed to play.
“These politicians are getting in the way too much. They did it in Australia. Let’s let the guy come in and play in the U.S. I mean come on. This is ridiculous,” McEnroe said while Djokovic waved to the crowd at the All England Club. “But I don’t make those decisions. I hope someone makes the right one and allows him to play. That’s my personal opinion.”
McEnroe said there should be some way for Djokovic to be allowed to participate.
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“You can agree to be tested. I don’t know. There’s gotta be a way around this, but we’ll wait and see. That’s not what it’s about right now,” he said.
Djokovic said ahead of Wimbledon he had no plans to get a coronavirus vaccine.
“As of today, I am not allowed to enter the states under these circumstances,” the Serbian tennis star said, via Eurosport. “I am aware of that and that is an extra motivation to do well here, and hopefully I can have a very good tournament as I have done in the last three editions.
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“Then I will just have to wait and see. I would love to go to the states. But, as of today, that is not possible. There is not much I can do anymore. It is up to the U.S. government to make a decision whether or not they allow the unvaccinated people to go into the country.”