Novak Djokovic has officially withdrawn from the Canadian Open in Montreal, organizers announced Thursday. Djokovic is not allowed to enter Canada because he is not vaccinated against Covid-19.
The Serbian’s withdrawal from the event, which starts next week and is an ATP Masters 1000 tournament, further casts doubt on Djokovic’s bid to be cleared for the US Open at the end of August.
As it stands, Djokovic will not be able to take part in the New York tournament, which he has won three times, as his vaccination status means he will not be allowed to enter the United States.
The US Open itself does not have a vaccine requirement in place for players, but said it respects the position of the US government.
Djokovic reiterated after his Wimbledon triumph last month that he has no intention of getting a Covid-19 shot, even if it means he will be denied the chance to win more titles.
The 35-year-old tweeted on Saturday that he was still “I am preparing as if I would be allowed to compete, waiting to find out if there is room for me to travel to the United States”, to add “crossed fingers!”
The US government has been called on to allow Djokovic into the country to play the showpiece in New York.
American tennis legend John McEnroe described the situation as “ridiculous”while the Serbian Diaspora directly asked President Joe Biden to intervene.
If Djokovic is forced to miss the hard-court event at Flushing Meadows, as seems likely, it will be the second Grand Slam of the year he has been sidelined due to his vaccine stance.
Djokovic was notoriously deported from Australia earlier this year and could face a three-year ban on returning to the country.
He returned for Roland Garros, losing to eventual winner Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, before bouncing back to win Wimbledon, which was his 21st Grand Slam crown, putting him just one behind Nadal in the all-time stakes.
At the Canadian Open, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev will be the defending champion, while Djokovic has won the tournament four times over the years, most recently in 2016.
World number one Medvedev will also be defending champion at the US Open, having beaten Djokovic in last year’s final in New York.
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