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Is Novak Djokovic playing at US Open in 2022?

We break down what Novak Djokovic’s exit means ahead of the 2022 US Open.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic returns the ball during an exhibition match in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on July 13, 2022. Photo by Nedim Grabovica/Xinhua via Getty Images

The US Open is set to begin next week on Monday, August 29 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. World No. 6 and three-time champion Novak Djokovic will not be participating in the final Grand Slam tournament of the season due to coronavirus and vaccine restrictions.

Djokovic made the U.S. Open finals last year, but after losing to Russian Daniil Medvedev in straight sets, he fell just short of being the third man to complete a Grand Slam in singles.

Djokovic has been very open about his anti-vaccine stance and has missed several major tournaments since vaccination requirements became mainstream in the sport including the 2022 Australian Open in January, causing his former No. 1 world ranking to drop. He has won the U.S. Open three times (2011, 2015, 2018), but will not be in contention for a fourth title.

As a non-U.S. citizen, he must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to enter into the country. This is a federal policy, not a U.S. Open-specific decision.