Novak Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic, says that the Serb star has endured an “unfair year” because of his refusal to get the coronavirus vaccine. Djokovic, who is fresh from his seventh title at Wimbledon, is most likely going to miss the US open because of his unvaccinated status.
He is currently waiting “hopefully for some good news from the USA”, but it’s highly unlikely that it will come since the U.S. refuses to relax its rules requiring non-citizens to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This will prevent Djokovic from entering the country.
Ivanisevic, who has been Djokovic’s coach since 2019, thinks that his charge has undergone a “difficult” year”. The US Open will be the second Grand Slam that the Serb will miss after the whole fiasco at the Australian Open earlier this year.
Talking to Sport Kulb, Ivanisevic said: “He has had a difficult, unfair year, many bad things happened to him.”
“He deserved that Wimbledon, in the final there were two of the world’s best tennis players on grass, he and Nick Kyrgios.”
“It is an honour and a pleasure [to coach Djokovic] – a man who has conquered everything and is still hungry and eager for success.”
And speaking with Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija ahead of the Croatia Open, the coach said:
“I don’t know about the US Open [entry], it’s difficult.”
“I am more optimistic that I will get an invitation and win Umag than that they will let him to the US Open.”
“They don’t ask for vaccination there, but as a country, they are closed to the unvaccinated, for now, he can’t enter the country.”
“I respect and appreciate him, he made a decision that he will not change. When they proclaim him to be a leader, to have a bad influence on people, that is wrong.”
“He doesn’t want to get vaccinated, he doesn’t want to introduce it into his body, and he never told others not to get vaccinated. I respect and support his decision.”
The US Open issued a statement, saying, “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.”