US Open confirms Novak Djokovic won't be able to play unless he gets vaccinated

Don't expect to see Novak Djokovic playing in the US Open next month, for reasons that should already be very clear.

The tournament's organizers released a statement Wednesday confirming they will respect the U.S. government's requirement that non-citizens and non-immigrants be vaccinated to enter the country, which will include Djokovic unless he gets vaccinated in the next few weeks.

Djokovic was included on the tournament's entry list as the No. 7 ranked player, but that was purely automatic.

From the US Open:

Per the ITF Grand Slam rulebook, all eligible players are automatically entered into the men's and women's singles main-draw fields based on ranking 42 days prior to the first Monday of the event.

The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the U.S. government's position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-U.S. citizens.

The decision shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, least of all Djokovic, who has already said he doesn't believe he will be able to get an exemption to enter the U.S., which is what he tried to do to play in the Australian Open with disastrous results.

Djokovic did say he was waiting "hopefully for some good news from USA because I would really love to go there," but rising COVID-19 case rates due to the BA.5 variant in the country and around the world likely nixed any chance of that.

Since the Australian Open, Djokovic has been allowed to play in the two other Grand Slams, the French Open and Wimbledon. He fell to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal at Roland Garros, then captured his fourth straight Wimbledon title and seventh overall earlier this month.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic speaks during press conference after attending his welcoming ceremony celebration at the Belgrade City Hall in Belgrade, on July 11, 2022. (Photo by Pedja Milosavljevic / AFP) (Photo by PEDJA MILOSAVLJEVIC/AFP via Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic will likely be allowed to play in only two Grand Slams this year. (Photo by Pedja Milosavljevic / AFP)