Novak Djokovic has finally received the green light to play at the US Open later this season after the American government confirmed they would be extending their emergency Covid measures to May 11 before scrapping them entirely. But it does mean that the world No 1 will still be banned from entering the country during the Indian Wells and Miami Masters after sharing his hope to play the first Masters 1000 of the year.
Fresh off the back of his historic 10th Australian Open title win, Djokovic has received the news that he can also compete in the US Open later this year – meaning he will not be forced to miss any Majors as a result of his vaccine status like he did last year.
It comes as President Joe Biden’s administration said on Monday that all Covid emergency declarations would come to an end on May 11, meaning the vaccine would no longer be required to enter the country. But with Indian Wells and Miami falling in March, it means he will not be able to compete at the first two Masters tournaments of the season. The restrictions were originally extended to April but have now been drawn out another month before they finally come to an end.
Speaking after his Aussie Open win, Djokovic said: “I hope I can play in Indian Wells. That is my wish. It is still not allowed but maybe in the next few weeks I will get better news.”
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Djokovic has not won the US Open since 2018, when he defeated Juan Martin del Potro for his third title in Flushing Meadows. He retired injured during his fourth-round tie against Stan Wawrinka in 2019 and in 2020 he was defaulted at the same stage of the tournament when he hit a ball away in anger that accidentally hit a lineswoman.
The Serb then reached the final in 2021 after winning the first three Majors of the year and was playing for both the Calendar Grand Slam and what would have been a then-record 21st Slam title when he was defeated by Daniil Medvedev in straight sets. He has not played in New York since, but will finally get a shot at his fourth US Open crown this year.