Novak Djokovic says no regrets over vaccine stance after US Open: ‘I knew what the consequences would be’

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Novak Djokovic’s failure attend the US Open The 21-time Grand Slam champion has no regrets due to his vaccination status earlier this month – even if it means more time between tournaments and a drop in rankings.

Djokovic stands by his decision not to vaccinate against COVID-19 during a press conference on Thursday Ahead of the Laver Cup in LondonHaving said that he was well aware of the consequences.

Novak Djokovic of Team Europe looks on during the first day of the Laver Cup at The O2 Arena on September 23, 2022 in London, England.

Novak Djokovic of Team Europe looks on during the first day of the Laver Cup at The O2 Arena on September 23, 2022 in London, England.
(Luke Walker/Getty Images for the Laver Cup)

“I have no regrets. I mean, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to play (at the US Open), but it was a decision I made, and I knew what the consequences would be,” he said on Thursday. “So I accepted them, and that’s it.”

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Federal travel restrictions bar Djokovic from entering the US because non-citizens are required to be vaccinated against COVID to gain entry.

United States Tennis Association (USTA) made a statement over the summer announcing that while the tournament does not have a vaccine mandate, it will follow federal policy.

“I’m not used to making long breaks between tournaments in the last 15 to 20 years, but it is what it is,” Djokovic said. “I was in a position like this. I’m excited to be able to play here right now – and most of the other indoor (tournaments) for the rest of the season.”

FILE - Novak Djokovic, Serbia, wipes sweat during a training session at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament on April 30, 2022 in Madrid, Spain.

FILE – Novak Djokovic, Serbia, wipes sweat during a training session at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament on April 30, 2022 in Madrid, Spain.
(AP photo/Manu Fernandez, FILE)

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Djokovic was deported from Australia in January after traveling on a visa with a medical exemption for the year’s first Grand Slam tournament. While he was able to compete at the French Open and later won Wimbledon, He is currently ranked 7th in the world, partly because of the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes not being awarded ranking points in the All England Club.

Djokovic is facing a three-year ban as a result of his relegation, but it is not a matter he has given much thought to despite hoping for the best.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia wins the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup by defeating Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men's singles final at the Australian Open Tennis Championships on Sunday, February 21, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia wins the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup by defeating Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men’s singles final at the Australian Open Tennis Championships on Sunday, February 21, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.
(AP Photo/Mark Dadswell, FILE)

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“It’s not really in my hands right now,” he said on Thursday. “So I hope I get some positive news.”

Australian Open One of Djokovic’s most successful performances has been – he has won a record nine titles. He said back in May that he had “no complaints” over the incident and that if given the chance, “I would love to be back.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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