Four-time U.S. Open champion John McEnroe says it’s a ‘joke’ if Novak Djokovic misses the U.S. Open later this month because he’s been vaccinated against COVID-19 .
Djokovic has not been vaccinated and current U.S. regulations require travelers to present proof of full vaccinations when boarding flights to and from the U.S. and when entering the U.S. It seems likely that he will miss the final Grand Slam of the year.
The Serb has previously said he was prepared to skip Grand Slam tournaments that require players to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Djokovic remains on his list of entries from 29 August until 29 September. 11th New York Games.
“I don’t think it’s fair,” McEnroe told reporters on Tuesday. “I think it’s a joke.
“I would have been vaccinated and played, but he has very strong beliefs and you have to respect them.
“At this point, it’s been two and a half years since the pandemic and I think people everywhere in the world know more about it. I’m joking about the idea that he can’t hang out here.
Djokovic failed to defend his Australian Open crown this year after being deported in January for being vaccinated.
Rafa Nadal won the tournament in Melbourne to claim Djokovic and Roger Federer’s 21st major trophy. Nadal then added another Grand Slam title at the French Open, beating Djokovic, who won Wimbledon last month.
When asked whether Djokovic’s chances of finishing above his rivals in terms of Grand Slam wins were affected by his absence from major tournaments, McEnroe said, That’s a question I want to know,” he replied.
“Obviously Rafa Nadal benefits from that. Any player who has won the Australian Open eight or nine times will think: [Djokovic blew] chance in a way.
“These three are already ahead of everyone else. Rafa was able to pull off a miraculous win in Australia that many didn’t expect. Novak went to Wimbledon but Rafa was injured.”