Novak Djokovic has denounced the United States over what he claims is a double standard regarding vaccination against Covid-19, saying “I don’t see the logic” behind the ban on unvaccinated foreigners.
After being kicked out of Australia in January for his anti-vaccination stance, which cost him the chance to win another Australian Open title, Djokovic hopes to compete at the US Open in New York later this year.
Unvaccinated US players will be allowed to compete – but current US laws prohibit foreigners from entering the country unless they are vaccinated.
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“No one who is not vaccinated can enter the United States from this moment on,” the 35-year-old said. “I heard off the record that some people got away with it, some people who aren’t ‘famous’, but I would never even try to go to the US if it’s not allowed.
“Some think I made that mistake in Australia, but it was the opposite in fact – I had the exemption etc, let’s not repeat the same story.
“Basically, if they tell me that I can’t go, I won’t go, I would never put myself in such a situation. Even if I walked in, they would see me play tennis on TV and flirt with me!
He thanked his polarizing rival Tennys Sandgren for his continued support, with the American being a top unvaccinated player.
“On a more serious note, I texted Tennys Sandgren a few days ago. I wanted to thank him for his public support for me in this situation. What he said is everything. quite logical – if unvaccinated players are not allowed to participate in the US Open, everyone should be.
“I don’t see the medical logic behind it, that Tennys can play because he’s a US citizen, and I can’t. If I had a US passport or a green card, I could play. Maybe there’s Is there a political logic behind it – not medical – but I’d rather not get into that and you can understand why.
Djokovic beat 79th-seeded Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round at Wimbledon and stressed the current tournament is his priority as he next faces fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic for a place in the last 16.
“Grand Slams are tournaments that are my priority at this stage of my career and of course I want to play in New York,” he added. “On the other hand, if I don’t get the chance, it’s not the end of the world, we’ll look ahead. But right now I’m completely focused on Wimbledon.
Djokovic hopes to join Pete Sampras as a seven-time Wimbledon champion.