(Bloomberg) -- Unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic said he won’t compete in the upcoming US Open, a decision that means the former world no. 1 will miss his second Grand Slam tournament this year and risk tumbling further down the rankings.
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“Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,” Djokovic said in a tweet, adding he’ll wait for an opportunity to compete again.
Stacey Allaster, the US Open Tournament director, said the reason was “due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-U.S. citizens.”
According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-U.S. citizens must show proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before boarding flights to the US.
The 21-time Grand Slam winner missed the Australian Open in January when authorities there detained and then deported him following a high-profile legal dispute over his vaccine status.
Last month, he won Wimbledon to clinch his 21st Grand Slam title. Despite the victory, he has slid to sixth in the global ATP tennis rankings.
Djokovic, 35, insists that he won’t get vaccinated. He may be forced to miss additional tournaments and is in danger of falling further behind his rival Rafael Nadal.
The Spanish champion will play at the US Open and leads Djokovic with a record 22 Grand Slam titles.
“Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he will be unable to compete at the 2022 US Open,” Allaster said. “We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open.”
(Corrects Djokovic’s age in seventh paragraph.)
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