Novak Djokovic’s absence from the US Open is sending fans into a frenzy as some say the antivaxxer is ‘letting his fear of getting shot tarnish his career’ while others say his decision refusing entry is a “HUGE EMBARRASSMENT” for the United States
- Novak Djokovic will not travel to New York for the next US Open
- He refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, which makes him ineligible for entry
- Unvaccinated foreign citizens cannot travel to Canada or the United States currently
- A Twitter user said he would disable ‘Moderna Open’ as a result
Social media erupted on Thursday after Novak Djokovic announced he would not travel to New York for the upcoming US Open after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, rendering himself ineligible to enter the country.
The decision sparked a huge online backlash, with one user calling it a “huge embarrassment to the United States”, while others took aim at the player himself for “tarnishing his career” by not getting to shoot on.
Former U.S. Treasury Assistant Public Affairs Secretary Monica Crowley apologized to Djokovic via Twitter, saying: “I’m sorry that our power-mad despots simply denied you entry to the US Open. because of their pathological desire for control.
“Maybe try to enter from the southern border – no vax checks there.”
Another praised the Serbian for what he represents amid pressure from the tennis world to be vaccinated.
“You are a great champion and a true hero. None of us will watch the Moderna Open. They use politics to keep you from being the goat! But guess what??
“You are already the goat. I love you.’
Social media hit boiling point after Novak Djokovic withdrew from US Open
Another Twitter user explained why the USTA was in no rush to request an exemption from the rules, noting: “Imagine Novak Djokovic, by far the most famous athlete in the world who is not vaccinated against COVID, holding the US Open trophy with Moderna, whose only product is a COVID vaccine, as a back-end sponsor.
Elsewhere, an anti-Djokovic tennis fan wrote: “Unreal that you let your fear of getting a shot cloud the twilight of your career like this.”
‘You could have been the undisputed GOAT [greatest of all-time]. Better hope Nadal doesn’t win it…’
Meanwhile, Djokovic tweeted his thoughts after the draw was announced, saying: “Unfortunately I won’t be able to travel to New York this time for the US Open.” Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support. Good luck to my gaming friends! I will keep fit and positive and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon world of tennis!’
The three-time US Open winner had hoped to take part in the tournament, provided the US government changed its policy regarding unvaccinated visitors. The American Tennis Association previously said it would adhere to such a change by allowing Djokovic to play if he was allowed in the United States.
After beating Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final on July 10, Djokovic said he would “love” to play in the final Grand Slam tournament of the year at Flushing Meadows, but he also admitted: “I don’t plan to get vaccinated.
Officials have stressed that he would be welcome to play at the US Open in 2023.
“Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he cannot participate in the US Open 2022, as he cannot enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-US citizens” , said tournament director Stacey Allaster. said in a statement.
“We look forward to welcoming Novak to US Open 2023.”
The Serbian star will not be able to equal Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slams this season
Djokovic has won three US Opens and will have to wait until 2023 before he can attempt his fourth
An additional player from the qualifying tournament will be the “lucky loser” who replaces Djokovic at the 2022 US Open, according to a statement from tournament officials.
Officially, Djokovic withdrew from the tournament before the main draw was published.
Djokovic firmly refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, thus missing several tournaments. The decorated Serbian tennis sensation has argued that he is not against all vaccines, but is very discriminating when it comes to the things he puts in his own body.
Djokovic will be able to play at the Australian Open next year after missing out on last year’s iteration
“I’ve never been against vaccination,” he told the BBC in February, saying he had been vaccinated as a child, “but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body”.
The American Tennis Association said it will follow government rules regarding vaccination status for this year’s Open throughout. There is no vaccination mandate at the tournament for players or their support teams – meaning an unvaccinated American would be allowed to compete – and spectators will not be required to wear masks.
Djokovic missed the Australian Open in January after the end of a long legal saga with his expulsion from this country because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. His lawyers argued he did not need to be vaccinated as he had recently overcome a bout with COVID-19.