Novak Dkokovic has to admit defeat to play at the US Open

Novak Djokovic will not compete at the US Open

Novak Djokovic will not compete at the US Open (Picture: Getty)

Novak Djokovic was defeated in his application for the US Open.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion, who has won three times at Flushing Meadows, hoped the United States would change its longstanding rules to allow non-citizens without a coronavirus vaccine to enter the country.

The Wimbledon champion, who has also been banned from attending the Australian Open for his anti-vaccination stance, said after his SW19 success in July he was “hopefully waiting for some good news from the US”.

As a result, despite his absence, he remained on the entry list for the tournament starting on Monday, but has now withdrawn.

He said on Twitter: “Unfortunately I can’t travel to NY for the US Open this time. Thank you NoleFam for your messages of love and support.

Djokovic was hoping to compete at Flushing Meadows (Image: Getty)

“Good luck my fellow players! I will stay in good shape and positive mood and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!’

The 35-year-old’s absence will prove to be a divisive issue over the next fortnight as John McEnroe has already branded the rules that will prevent Djokovic from competing as a ‘joke’.

He said: “I don’t think it’s fair. I think it’s a joke.

“I would have got the vaccine and gone and played but he has very strong beliefs and you have to respect that.

‘At this point, in the pandemic, we’re two and a half years old, I think people in all parts of the world know about it and the idea that he can’t travel here to play, to me, it’s a joke.’

The Serb’s omission gives Rafael Nadal an advantage as he looks to add to his 22 Grand Slam titles, while world number one and defending champion Daniil Medvedev also has a smoother path.

The draw for the final Grand Slam of the year will take place later on Thursday in New York.

MORE: ‘It’s a joke!’ John McEnroe slams Covid rules that will prevent Novak Djokovic from playing at US Open

MORE: Anti-vax icon Novak Djokovic told to ‘roll up your sleeves and get the vaccine’

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tennis Novak Dkokovic has to admit defeat to play at the US Open

Nate Jones

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