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John McEnroe brands decision to ban Novak Djokovic from US Open 'a joke'

John McEnroe brands decision to ban Novak Djokovic from US Open 'a joke'

The Serbian star is likely missing out on the tournament with current US guidelines preventing non-vaccinated foreigners from entering.

Tennis icon John McEnroe has labelled the decision to ban Novak Djokovic from next week’s US Open ‘a joke’.

The Serbian star is likely missing out on the prestigious tournament with current guidelines from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention blocking unvaccinated foreigners from entering the country.

The Wimbledon champion has been outspoken in his anti-vaccination opinion and has remained steadfast in his refusal to get the jab.


The 21-time Grand Slam winner was deported from the Australian Open back in January because of his vaccination status, and another seven months later is looking likely to miss another tournament for the same reason.

Former three-time Wimbledon champ John McEnroe has come out in defence of the 35-year-old.

He said: “No, I don't think it's fair. I think it's a joke.

"I would have had the vaccine and gone and played but he's got very strong beliefs and you have to respect that.

"At this point, in the pandemic, we're two and a half years in, I think people in all parts of the world know more about it, and the idea that he can't travel here to play, to me is a joke."

Djokovic has slammed the stance in the past claiming the United States has double standards in allowing non ‘famous’ people to enter the country.

He told Tennis Majors in June: “I did hear unofficially that some people got away with it, some people who are not ‘famous’, but I would never even try to go to the USA if it is not allowed.”

UPI / Alamy

 Djokovic then called out the logic of letting a high-profile non-vaccinated American player such as Tennys Sandgren play the tournament while he isn’t allowed to enter the country. 

He continued: “I don’t see the medical logic behind it, that Tennys can play because he is a citizen of the USA and I cannot. If I had a US passport or a green card, I would be able to play. Maybe there is a political logic behind it – not medical – but I would rather not get into that and you can understand why.”

McEnroe believes the unfair ruling is allowing Rafael Nadal to stream ahead of Djokovic in grand slam title wins.

He said: "Obviously, Rafa Nadal has benefited from that.

"These three guys are already above everyone else. So, it makes it extremely interesting to see these two go at it and then you think of Roger Federer but he's been hurt for a while."

Djokovic is yet to officially withdraw from the US Open.

Featured Image Credit: Action Plus Sports Images / Alamy. Xinhua / Alamy.

Topics: US Open, Novak Djokovic, Tennis