US Open: Novak Djokovic dealt blow as health agency releases updated travel guidelines

Novak Djokovic’s vaccine stance has seen him play just two grand slam tennis tournament’s so far this year ie French Open and Wimbledon. The Serbian would have hoped to feature in the US Open 2022 had COVID-19 rules been relaxed by US government. The glimmer of hope to play in the final grand slam tournament was crushed following the updated guidelines from the American public health agency.

Novak Djokovic’s US Open 2022 participation faces major obstacle

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an updated guideline regarding foreign travelers needing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the latest guidelines, non-citizens entering the USA must be vaccinated before boarding any flight to the country.

“Non-US citizen, non-US immigrants: You must show proof of being fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine before you board your flight to the United States. Only limited exceptions apply,” the guideline read.

A couple of days back the health agency removed the vaccine mandate for American citizens which raised hope that it will soon be extended to non-citizens, too, giving Djokovic the chance to feature at the US Open 2022. However, the latest update just blew away his chances. According to a UK Express report, the CDC in it’s statement had said that there will leniency on new quarantine rules, with people only required to wear masks for 10 days and need to get tested themselves on the fifth day after they show symptoms. On the other hand, unvaccinated Americans can move freely to and from the nation under the changes, while the same does not apply to foreign nationals.

How has Novak Djokovic’s vaccine stance affected his tennis season?

Novak Djokovic had previously stated that he won’t get vaccinated against the coronavirus, even if that prevents him from playing in certain tournaments. Djokovic’s vaccine stance saw him missing out on defending the Australian Open title earlier this year after getting deported from the country.

Following the Wimbledon triumph, Djokovic missed ATP Masters 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami in March and April this year. He even pulled out of last week’s Cincinnati Open due to vaccine issues. Going by the current rule Novak Djokovic’s absence in the US open 2022 will mean the 17th seed will be moved into the open position and the 17th position shall be filled by the next highest ranked player eligible to be seeded. If it does happen then Roberto Bautista Agut is likely to replace him, while his fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic will move up into the 17th spot.

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