Tennis great John McEnroe slams decision to block Novak Djokovic’s US Open inclusion

Aug 16, 2022
McEnroe took issue with Djokovic being barred from competing when US players who are unvaccinated will be given the all-clear to take part. Source: Getty Images.

Tennis legend John McEnroe has hit out at the US Government regarding current guidelines that are preventing 21-time grand slam winner Novak Djokovic from competing in the upcoming US Open.

Djokovic is not permitted to enter the US given the nation’s current regulations that require non-citizens to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, preventing the recent Wimbledon champion from competing in the US Open.

McEnroe took issue with Djokovic being barred from competing when US players who are unvaccinated will be given the all-clear to take part

“Well, first of all, I think it’s BS. That’s what I think. I think he should be allowed to play. My personal opinion, as I’ve been vaccinated, I had a booster shot, that’s up to the individual,” he told Fox Digital.

“If I were him, and I’m not him, he’s won a lot more majors than me probably because he’s dug in his heels and found the gear, that will, that very few people in any sport have ever found, so that’s part of what’s made him so great, he sticks to his guns. He’s perfectly entitled to make the decision.”

Despite his objections, McEnroe conceded that rules were rules.

“It’s really unfortunate but that’s the rules we really have right now with the government,” he said.

“I don’t agree with it but c’est la vie at the moment.”

Djokovic’s stance on vaccines and his refusal to follow vaccine mandates has marred his recent on-court achievements, which earlier this year saw the world No. 6 forfeit his spot at the 2022 Australian Open after his Australian visa was cancelled.

Despite the impact, his vaccination stance has had on his career Djokovic has remained steadfast in his opposition, telling reporters he is “not planning to get vaccinated” while discussing his US Open chances.

“The only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter United States or exemption,” Djokovic said.

“I don’t know. I don’t think exemption is realistically possible. If that is possibility, I don’t know what exemption would be about. I don’t know. I don’t have much answers there.”

His vaccine objections and the roadblocks it has caused for his competitive sporting career aside, Djokovic was able to recently secure his Wimbledon men’s final win at Centre Court on Sunday, July 10.

In the highly anticipated final showdown between himself and Nick Kyrgios, Djokovic recorded a 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3) victory over Kyrgios at the All England Club. His Wimbledon win continues Djokovic’s winning streak at the club to 28 matches, with his recent victory marking the first time he has won four consecutive titles at the tournament.

A humbled Djokovic struggled to find the words to convey what winning the Wimbledon finals meant to him and those closest to him.

“I’ve lost words for what this tournament, what this trophy means to me, to my team, to my family. I have said this many times,” he said.

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