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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.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates his victory at Wimbledon with supporters during a welcoming ceremony in Belgrade July 11, 2022. (Pedja Milosavljevic/AFP via Getty Images)
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.
Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic attends an opening ceremony of a new tennis complex and local tournaments in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, July 13, 2022. (Samir Jordamovic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
“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.
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic returns the ball during an exhibition match in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, July 13, 2022. (Nedim Grabovica/Xinhua via Getty Images)
“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.
Joe Morgan is a Sports Reporter for Fox News.