The situation surrounding Novak Djokovic's participation at the 2022 US Open, or rather his inability to participate in the event, has drawn many mixed reactions from fans and experts alike in the sporting world. Leading American sports broadcaster Mike North is among those who believe the Serb has been unfairly treated, terming the situation as 'a joke.'
As things stand, Djokovic will not be able to enter the United States to participate in the US Open due to regulations barring unvaccinated persons from entering the country. The 21-time Grand Slam champion has repeatedly clarified that he will not get the vaccine for the coronavirus disease.
Responding to a video on Twitter where a vast group of people were seen illegally entering the United States, North referenced Djokovic and the MLB team Kansas City Royals to express his dissatisfaction with the regulations.
"In other news the Kansas City royals that aren’t vaccinated can’t play in Canada ...and Djokovic can’t play in the US Open because he might infect everyone !what a joke. But below is acceptable," the two-time Emmy winning sports radio broadcaster wrote on Twiirer.
After winning his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last week, the Serb stated that the only way he can play in the US Open is if there is a relaxation in the guidelines that barred his entry into the country.
There is a high possibility that his next Grand Slam appearance will be at the 2023 French Open as he is expected to miss the 2023 Australian Open following the events in Australia earlier this year.
As per the rules, he cannot apply for an Australian visa for a span of three years after deportation. However, he can hope for an exemption to be granted against the original order of deportation.
For Novak Djokovic, missing the US Open is not "the end of the world"
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Novak Djokovic's participation at the 2022 US Open and the 2023 Australian Open. However, the Serb is certain about one thing - he will not take the vaccine.
During a recent interview, he reiterated his stance and said he was alright with missing events that would not allow him entry due to his unvaccinated status.
I have my stance, and I am proponent always for freedom to choose what is best for you. And I respect everything and everybody, and I expect at least people to respect my decision. If I have a permission, I'll be there. If I don't, I'll not be there. It's not the end of the world," he said on the same.
The 35-year-old is also set to miss the Cincinnati Masters ahead of the US Open if there is no relaxation in the rules. He currently holds the most ATP Masters 1000 titles with 38 trophies in those events to his name.
The Serb trails his great rival Rafael Nadal, who has 22 Grand Slam titles, in the race for most men's singles Grand Slam titles won.