Unvaxxed Tennis Great Novak Djokovic Makes Decision On US Open
BELGRADE, SERBIA - APRIL 18: Novak Djokovic of Serbia speaks with media during press conference on day one of the Serbia Open ATP 250 Tournament at Novak Tennis Centre on April 18, 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Tennis great Novak Djokovic announced on Thursday that he will miss the US Open, which is set to start in a matter of days.

Djokovic has been effectively banned from the U.S., and therefore the US Open, over a rule from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) barring foreign nationals who remain unvaccinated against COVID from entering the country.

“Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,” the 21-time Grand Slam champion posted to his Twitter account. “Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support.”

“Good luck to my fellow players!” the 35-year-old added. “I’ll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!”

Djokovic has made clear for months now that he has no plans to vaccinate against the virus, even if that means sacrificing opportunities for more championships. Djokovic told the BBC back in February it was “the price that I’m willing to pay.”

“Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can,” he said.

“I was never against vaccination,” the athlete said, “but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.”

Earlier this month, the tennis star echoed the same and noted that an exemption, which he has not been granted, was unlikely.

“I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated,” Djokovic said, according to Yahoo! Sports. “So the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter the United States or exemption.”

“I don’t think exemption is realistically possible,” he added. “I think it’s just whether or not they remove this in time for me to get to the USA.”

Djokovic has already had to sacrifice for this principle. The tennis star in January was dramatically detained and deported from Australia over his vaccination status, rendering him unable to defend his Australian Open title.

“It has affected me definitely in the first several months of the year,” Djokovic said of the ordeal. “I was not feeling great generally. I mean, mentally, emotionally, I was not at a good place.”

Related: John McEnroe Blasts Politicians For Vax Mandate Blocking Novak Djokovic From US Open

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