It looks like Novak Djokovic will be missing the National Bank Open in Montreal.
National Bank Open director Eugene Lapierre said: “The situation is clear – either Canada will change the rules regarding vaccination or he (Novak Djokovic) will have to roll up his sleeves and receive the vaccine”.
The Masters 1000 event will start on August 5, three weeks before the US Open.
Djokovic is still adamant about not getting the vaccine, even though it has cost him a lot in terms of his progress – he already missed out on the Australian Open and the ATP events in Indian Wells and Miami respectively.
And at the moment, his chances of competing in the US Open are still in doubt, since the United States requires those of non-US citizenship coming into the country must be fully vaccinated.
“I am a professional tennis player, I don’t go into politics or anything else because that doesn’t interest me,” Djokovic said.
“I have my stance and I am a proponent for freedom to choose what is best for you. I respect everything and everybody, and I expect people to at least respect my decision.”
“If I have permission, I’ll be there. If I don’t, I won’t be there – it’s not the end of the world.”
Canada also maintains the same rule. Djokivic is hoping that the U.S. will bend or change its rules, but he won’t stand a chance north of the border.
Canadian Health Minister Jean Yves Duclos is not about to relax his country’s hard-line stance on the COVID-19 vaccination.
“The rules apply to everyone. There are some exceptions, but… the rules apply to everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet,” he said.
The 35-year-old Djokovic currently has 21 Grand Slams. He only needs one more to equal Rafael Nadal’s all-time record. Djokovic’s former coach Bogdan Obradovic revealed that the Serb wants to reach 30 Grand Slams before retirement.
This will be tough to do since his place at the US or Australian Opens are not yet assured. Djokovic may run out of opportunities to reach his ambitious goal.