Novak Djokovic withdrew from the upcoming hard-court tournament in Montreal on Thursday because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and therefore not allowed to enter Canada.
For the same reason, as things stand, he will also not be able to compete in the US Open later this month.
Djokovic, a 35-year-old Serb, said he won’t get the shots, even if it means he can’t play in some tournaments. He missed the Australian Open in January after being kicked out of that country and had to sit out two events in the United States earlier this year.
He played at Roland Garros, where he lost in the quarter-finals to Rafael Nadal, and at Wimbledon, which Djokovic won last month for his 21st Grand Slam title, one behind the men’s record held by Nadal.
Unvaccinated foreign citizens cannot travel to Canada or the United States, so Djokovic withdrew from Montreal a day before the scheduled draw for the tournament and is expected to have to miss the US Open, which begins in New York on August 29.
Last weekend, Djokovic posted on social media that he remains hopeful of a chance to play at the US Open, writing: “I am preparing as if I will be allowed to compete, waiting for whether there is room for me to travel to the United States. Fingers crossed!”
After beating Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final on July 10, Djokovic said he would “love” to play in the final Grand Slam tournament of the year at Flushing Meadows, but also admitted: “I don’t plan on get vaccinated.”
Djokovic is a three-time US Open champion. His loss to Daniil Medvedev in last year’s final prevented Djokovic from becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win a calendar year Grand Slam.
Oscar Otte also withdrew from Montreal on Thursday; Kyrgios and Benjamin Bonzi entered the group.
Four wildcard spots went to three-time major champion Andy Murray, David Goffin, Vasek Pospisil and Alexis Galarneau.
Nadal, who withdrew from Wimbledon before the semifinals due to a torn abdominal, is still scheduled to play in Montreal.