Novak Djokovic’s path to compete at the US Open later this year has been cleared after the United States Senate voted to bring an end the country’s Covid-19 emergency measures.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner has not set foot on American soil for an official tennis tournament since he lost in the 2021 US Open final against Daniil Medvedev.
Last year he was prevented from competing at the Sunshine Double – the Indian Wells Open and the Miami Open – and the August-September North American hard-court swing, which includes the US Open, as the United States adopted regulations that prevented foreign nationals from entering the country if they were not vaccinated against Covid-19.
Djokovic has made no secret of the fact that he was not vaccinated and did not plan on getting vaccinated.
The good news for Djokovic is that the US Senate has passed a bill that will end the Covid-19 declarations that were put in place in March 2020.
The bill was accepted by the House of Representatives earlier this year, but has now been given the green light by the Senate and it is set to be signed by President Joe Biden in the coming days.
It will clear the way for Djokovic to play at the US Open as well as other lead-up events like the Cincinnati Masters later this year.
Djokovic had high hopes of playing in Indian Wells and Miami this month, but it was announced in February that the regulations would only dropped after May 11.
The Serbian then applied for a special exemption to compete in the two ATP Masters 1000 events, but lawmakers stuck to their guns and he was forced to miss both events.
In an interview with CNN, the 35-year-old insisted that he quickly moved on from the Sunshine Double setback as he was determined to focus on the future.
“No, I have no regrets. I’ve learned through life that regrets only hold you back and basically make you live in the past. And I don’t want to do that. I also don’t want to live too much in the future. I want to be as much as in the present moment, but of course think about future, create a better future.”
He added: “It is the current state or current situation that I hope will change for later this year for the US Open. That is the most important tournament for me on the American soil.”
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