As we head into the latter stage of summer, some of the most prestigious sporting leagues and events will be marked on our calendars, and the US Open 2022 is no exception.
A star-studded line-up was announced for the US Open 2022 last week as New York City prepares itself for one of the most notable tennis tournaments of the year. Home-grown US talent such as Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Jessica Pegula, Danielle Collins, and the returning Serena Williams' are huge names for the women's and men's single's entry list. Still, the landscape following the success of Wimbledon will be dramatically altered.
Novak Djokovic unlikely for the US Open 2022Novak Djokovic has suffered an "unfair year", were the words murmured by his coach Goran Ivanisevic.
Fresh from his seventh Wimbledon title success, Djokovic said he's been waiting "for some good news from the USA." Still, it's doubtful the Serbian superstar will receive the update he hopes for.
The 35-year-old world No.1 has continuously refused to conform and take the vaccine – rightfully so – and as the US refuses entry to non-citizens that aren't fully vaccinated against Covid-19. So, currently, the Serb won't be permitted to enter the country.
Ivanisevic has coached "The Joker" since 2019, and he believes it's been a challenging year with the US Open looking to become the second Grand Slam his player will miss after the Australian Open debacle earlier in the season.
"He has had a difficult, unfair year; many bad things happened to him," Ivanisevic stated.
"He deserved that Wimbledon, in the final there were two of the world's best tennis players on grass, he and Nick Kyrgios.
"It is an honour and a pleasure [to coach Djokovic] – a man who has conquered everything and is still hungry and eager for success.
"I don't know about the US Open [entry]; it's complicated. I am more optimistic that I will get an invitation and win Umag than they will let him to the US Open. They don't ask for vaccination there, but as a country, they are closed to the unvaccinated; for now, he can't enter the country.
"I respect and appreciate him; he made a decision that will not change. When they proclaim him to be a leader, to have a bad influence on people, that is wrong. He doesn't want to get vaccinated; he doesn't want to introduce it into his body, and he never told others not to get vaccinated. I respect and support his decision."
The ATP and WTA released a statement regarding vaccination status: "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.
"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."
Bookmakers worldwide aren't entirely convinced, and even though he might not be able to compete at the US Open, Djokovic is the betting favourite to secure another Slam title.
With a price tag of +130, Djokovic is the listed favourite ahead of Daniil Medvedev (+210). Caesars New York sportsbook provides some of the sharpest betting lines. A plethora of action should be expected to come in on the Serbian following such an authoritative performance at Wimbledon.
A petition under the title of Nole Fam on Change surfaced last week; it currently received 40,164 signatures to support allowing Djokovic to the US Open.
Another potential blow to the US Open?Djokovic and his vaccination squabble isn't the only potential downfall of the US Open, as Wimbledon finalist – who suffered defeat to Djokovic in the London final – Nick Kyrgios has been forced to withdraw from the Atlanta Open due to injury.
This puts a severe blow on Kyrgios' preparations for next month's US Open. Although the Australian isn't officially ruled out from competing in New York, his ongoing shoulder injury could deliver the news that tennis fans don't want to hear.
A glimmer of hope is that Kyrgios has accepted a wildcard position at the Southern & Western Open ahead of the US Open, so, with our fingers crossed, he'll be primed and injury-free before his most significant step up in competition at the US Open.