World number one Novak Djokovic is hoping for a “positive result” from the US tennis tournament ahead of next month’s Indian Wells and Miami Open after requesting special permission to play there.
The United States still requires international visitors to be vaccinated against Covid-19, and the Serb, who previously confirmed he had not been vaccinated, has now requested special permission to enter the country ahead of two tournaments starting on March 6 and March. 20 respectively.
“Look, last year I missed Indian Wells, Miami, all the US Open,” Djokovic, a 22-time grand slam winner, told reporters in Belgrade on Wednesday.
“If something like this happened, it wouldn’t be the first time. I mean, I hope it doesn’t, but it’s all I can do. All I can do is hope at the moment because my position remains the same. “There is nothing I can do except to wish for a positive result,” he said.
Focusing on the US Open at the end of August, the 35-year-old said: “(The) US Open is still a long way away, you know, it’s six months away. So hopefully I can be there. I can’t tell you more about that. You know, the US Open is one of the four biggest events in the history of our sport, so of course I want to be there.
“(I) had the most beautiful reception and support from the New York and American crowd in the 2021 final, and unfortunately I lost. [Daniil] Medvedev. But I experienced something that I never experienced in New York, so I really want to come back and interact with people even more and play my best tennis and finally win another trophy,” said the 22-time grand slam champion.
Asked if the controversy surrounding his Covid-19 vaccine had affected his tennis, Djokovic said: “I think the latest results in Australia show that it doesn’t affect my tennis too much.”
Djokovic returned to the world championships last month when he won his 10th Australian Open. It was his 22nd major title, tied with Rafael Nadal.
This week, the 35-year-old reached another milestone in her illustrious tennis career, equaling Steffi Graf’s record for most weeks at world No. 1.
Djokovic held the record for most weeks as a men’s world No. 1 in March 2021, surpassing Roger Federer’s mark of 310 weeks, and on Monday he began his 377th week at the top, drawing level with German great Graf.
He will next take the court at the Duty Free Tennis Championship, which starts on February 27.