Daniil Medvedev's massive admission amid Novak Djokovic furore
Daniil Medvedev has made the stunning admission that if it was up to him then Novak Djokovic would be allowed to play in the upcoming US Open.
The unvaccinated Djokovic's hopes of competing at Flushing Meadows look increasingly slim, despite the US government's latest move to relax rules on Covid-19.
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Djokovic had accepted he was unlikely to play at the US Open after admitting he wouldn't get vaccinated in order to play tennis.
As it stands, US border restrictions require all visitors to be vaccinated to enter the country.
While the Wimbledon champ admitted he would hope for an exemption, he wasn't expecting any special treatment.
In a small boost for his chances though, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last week it was no longer recommending quarantine for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to the virus.
“Prior infection and vaccination confer some protection against severe illness, and so it really makes the most sense to not differentiate with our guidance or our recommendations based on vaccination status at this time,” said CDC scientist Dr Greta Massetti.
The CDC also said in a statement: “In the coming weeks, the CDC will work to align stand-alone guidance documents, such as those for healthcare settings, congregate settings at higher risk of transmission, and travel, with today’s update.”
The announcement moves to grant the unvaccinated the same guidance as vaccinated people within the US.
The US government is yet to change its travel advice for non-citizens, however, leaving Djokovic facing the prospect of missing a second grand slam tournament of the year.
When asked by reporters if he'd like to see the 21-time grand slam champion competing in New York, Medvedev pulled no punches.
“If you ask me, if I would be the decision-maker, sure I want Novak to play," Medveedev said.
"I like it when the tournament [has] the best players in the world."
Novak Djokovic absence a big blow for tennis fans
Medvedev conceded that it was also a major blow for tennis fans not getting to see whether Djokovic can once again go level on grand slam titles with his great rival Rafael Nadal, whose French Open victory saw him clinch a men's record 22nd major crown.
“This competition against Rafa is super intense and super interesting,” Medvedev added.
“So I would love to see him there in New York.
“But, if for the government rules, he cannot be there, well, everybody is still going to try to do their best and try to win [the] US Open.”
Djokovic hasn't played since winning Wimbledon in July, having been denied access into Canada and the US.
The World No.6 admitted after clinching his 21st grand slam title that he had most likely played his last major of the year.
"I'm not vaccinated and I'm not planning to get vaccinated so 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."
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