Having been away from American tournaments since 2021, Djokovic is now gearing up for his upcoming match on U.S. ground, following the lifting of the Covid vaccination mandate for non-U.S. entrants earlier in the year.
While Djokovic has not received the Covid-19 vaccine, he is set to compete at the Western & Southern Open located in Mason, Ohio, this week. Following this, he has plans to participate in the US Open in New York, the last major championship of this year’s tennis calendar.
The Serbian tennis maestro last showcased his skills in the U.S. during the 2021 US Open, where he faced a defeat against Daniil Medvedev.
On being questioned about his prolonged absence from American tennis scenes, he mentioned to the media on Sunday,
“I have no second thoughts about my two-year hiatus. It feels great to return.
I have fond memories of playing in the U.S., having achieved success in tournaments like Indian Wells, Miami, and of course, here in the Masters 1,000 events, amongst others. The US Open, being a major highlight of the hard-court season, fills me with anticipation.”
Despite his intent to play at both Indian Wells in California and the Miami Open earlier in the year, Djokovic faced visa challenges and wasn’t provided any exceptional entry permissions into the U.S. Subsequent to this, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security revised its stance, stating from May 12 onwards, non-US entrants wouldn’t need to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 to gain entry.
After his notable victory at the French Open, clinching his 23rd men’s grand slam singles title, Djokovic made it to the Wimbledon finals, only to be bested by Spain’s prodigy, Carlos Alcaraz, in a match that spanned five intense sets.
Both Djokovic and Alcaraz, leading the global tennis rankings, have been granted a direct entry to the second round of the Western & Southern Open.
Teaming up with fellow Serbian Nikola Ćaćić for the doubles category on Tuesday, Djokovic’s singles challenge lies against either Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain or Argentina’s Tomás Martín Etcheverry. On the other hand, Alcaraz will be up against the Aussie, Jordan Thompson.
Shedding light on his Wimbledon setback, Djokovic conveyed on Sunday that he moved past it swiftly, now keenly focusing on upcoming hard-court matches.
“With over two decades in professional tennis, the zeal hasn’t dimmed. There’s a continued eagerness to perform at premier tennis events, aiming to clinch titles and resonate positively with the spectators.”
Djokovic is gearing up to clinch his fourth US Open title, with the championship set to commence on August 28 and wrap up on September 10.