Novak Djokovic has been included on the entry list for the men's singles event at the 2022 US Open, despite his participation in the New York Grand Slam in doubt. While entry lists were prepared and released based on the ATP rankings this week, US Open organizers expressed their support for the US government's existing regulations regarding coronavirus vaccines.
In a statement, the organizers revealed that while the US Open does not require players to be compulsorily vaccinated to participate in the Major, they will adhere to the government's stance on the matter.
As things stand, Djokovic is banned from entering the United States as he is unvaccinated and the rules mandate double vaccination as a criterion to enter the country.
"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 tournament said in the statement.
The Serbian player made the entry list for the Grand Slam event based on the International Tennis Federation's (ITF) requirement that all eligible players should automatically form part of the entry list of the men's and women's singles main-draw fields 42 days before the start of a Major.
Eligibility is decided based on rankings at the time of announcement. The US Open initial entry cutoff for the men's draw was No. 101, while it was No. 99 for the women's draw.
In a change from Wimbledon, Russian and Belarusian players, including Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev on the men's side, and Daria Kasatkina and Victoria Azarenka on the women's side, are included on the US Open entry list.
Djokovic's participation is entirely contingent on the government relaxing its regulations that require double vaccinations for travelers entering the country, ahead of the August 29 start of the US Open.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion has firmly clarified his stance against getting vaccinated, recently reiterating the same in a press conference after winning the Wimbledon title.
"I'm not vaccinated and I'm not planning to get vaccinated. The only good news I can have is that they eliminate that protocol that only people who are vaccinated or have some exemption can enter the country. I do not know if it will be possible," Novak Djokovic said when asked about the possibility of him getting vaccinated.
Novak Djokovic's Canada Masters participation also in doubt
Novak Djokovic is highly likely to miss the entirety of the 2022 US Open swing. While the Serb had some hope of making it to Canada for the National Bank Open in Toronto, the tournament's director recently confirmed that Canadian rules also continue to strictly prohibit entry of unvaccinated travelers.
Eugene Lapierre, tournament director of the National Bank Open, said that the only way the Serb can participate is if he or the Canadian government change their respective decisions.
"The situation is clear - either Canada will change the rules regarding vaccination or he [Novak Djokovic] will have to roll up his sleeves and receive the vaccine. However, I do not consider either of those two scenarios likely," Lapierre said.
Djokovic is a four-time winner of the Masters event in Toronto, a two-time champion at the Cincinnati Masters, and has won the US Open thrice. The Serb has already lost a lot of ranking points due to the absence of points at Wimbledon.
If the defending US Open finalist eventually does not play in the New York Major, he is set to lose many more points and fall further below his current World No. 7 spot.