US Open officials speak out amid Novak Djokovic controversy

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·Sports Reporter
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Novak Djokovic (pictured) speaking on court at the US Open.
US Open officials have admitted they won't apply for an exemption to allow Novak Djokovic (pictured) to play in New York. (Getty Images)

US Open officials have clarified they will not push for an exemption to allow Novak Djokovic to take part in this year's final grand slam in Flushing Meadows unless current border restrictions are relaxed.

Djokovic admitted after Wimbledon that he had most likely played his last grand slam of 2022 due to unvaccinated travellers unable to enter the US as it stands.

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The Wimbledon champ reaffirmed he wouldn't be getting vaccinated in order to play tennis.

"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."

Djokovic's comment that he could seek an exemption had raised eyebrows.

However, US Open organisers released a statement and clarified that they will not seek an exemption for the World No.7.

"Per the Grand Slam Rule Book, all eligible players are automatically entered into the men's and women's singles main draw fields based on ranking 42 days prior to the first Monday of the event," it read.

Novak Djokovic (pictured) waves to fans with the Wimbledon trophy.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) celebrates his victory at the Wimbledon with supporters. (Photo by PEDJA MILOSAVLJEVIC/AFP via Getty Images)

"The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the US government's position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-US citizens."

Djokovic was also automatically included on the Cincinnati Open entry list.

However, this is in the hope rules will be relaxed by 13 August.

Serena Williams included on US Open entry list

In an exciting development, tennis icon Serena Williams was included on the US Open entry list.

Fans were excited that Williams will be taking part at the Cincinnati Open, which gave an indication she is preparing for a US Open campaign.

And the US Open confirmed she used a protected ranking of 16 to enter the grand slam.

After a first-round loss to Harmony Tan at Wimbledon, Williams said she wasn't sure what her future schedule looked like.

However she has since been confirmed to play at the Canadian Open, as well as the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati - two hard-court events that serve as key lead-up tournaments for the US Open.

Her older sister, Venus, will also make a return after accepting a wildcard to play at the Canadian Open in the lead-up to the US Open next month.

It will be the first time since 2015 that Williams will play both events - a clear sign that she'll be playing at Flushing Meadows for the final grand slam of the year.

The 40-year-old won the title in Cincinnati in 2014 and 2015.

with agencies

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