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Tennis’ 21-time Grand Slam winner, Novak Djokovic, says he’s “preparing” as if he’ll be allowed to compete in August’s U.S. Open in New York.
Djokovic, who is coming off his seventh Wimbledon title, is not permitted to enter the United States due to his COVID-19 vaccination status. The U.S. requires non-U.S. citizens to show proof of being fully vaccinated before boarding a flight into the county, with limited exceptions.
On Saturday, Djokovic posted a message to his fans on social media, saying he is waiting to hear if he’ll be able to enter the United States for the U.S. Open.
“I am preparing as if I will be allowed to compete, while I await to hear if there is any room for me to travel to US. Fingers crossed!” Djokovic said on his Instagram account.
Following his win at Wimbledon, Djokovic confirmed he will not get a COVID-19 vaccine to compete at the U.S. Open.
“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, according to ESPN. “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.”
Djokovic is the winner of three U.S. Open titles after losing in last year’s final to Daniil Medvedev. The 2022 tournament is scheduled from August 29 to September 11.
Djokovic was not allowed to compete in January’s Australian Open after his vaccine exemption was denied. He has later deported from Australia.