'How can he not be there?' - Novak Djokovic should be allowed to play at the US Open, says John McEnroe
John McEnroe has said that although he disagrees with Novak Djokovic's decision not to get vaccinated for Covid, he believes the 21-time Grand Slam winner has to be able to compete at Flushing Meadows. The US Open gets underway on August 29, but the Serb is unlikely to compete at the Grand Slam because America requires all visitors to be vaccinated for Covid-19.
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McEnroe has said it would be “crazy” for the 21-time Grand Slam winner not to be competing at Flushing Meadows this year.
“I mean, we have to find a way to get Novak into the US Open,” the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion told Tennis365.
“How can he not be there? He has just won Wimbledon, he is a great champion and he should be in the US Open.
“I don’t agree with his decision not to get vaccinated, but I respect it. He is one of the fittest guys in the world and everything he puts into his body, he is watching carefully.
“Now we are saying that because of his choice, he can’t play at the US Open. I mean, come on. He has already been deported from Australia for the same reason and here we are again.
“I hope someone finds a way to sort this out. It’s crazy that Novak misses the US Open at this stage.”
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At the time of writing, more than 23,000 people have signed an online petition on change.org calling for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the US government to allow Djokovic to compete at the US Open.
When announcing the entry list, a statement from the USTA said: "Per the Grand Slam Rule Book, 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 US government's position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-US citizens."
Djokovic reached the US Open final in 2021, but lost in straight sets to Russia's Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-4 6-4.
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