Tennis icon and champion Novak Djokovic will finally be allowed to return to the U.S. Open this year after missing the 2022 tournament over the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate.
In an email shared with reporters on Tuesday, U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said that Djokovic would be welcome at the 2023 U.S. Open in light of the Biden administration lifting its vaccine mandate for foreign travelers.
“Novak Djokovic is a great champion, a fan favorite, and now that the federal government has lifted its vaccine requirements for international travelers, we look forward to welcoming him back to New York for the 2023 U.S. Open,” said Chris Widmaier.
As Breitbart News reported in March, Djokovic had been denied entry into the United States a second time and had to withdraw from the tournament at BNP Paribas Open due to the Biden administration’s persistent vaccine mandate.
The Serbian tennis star, whose only crime appears to be that he attempted to enter the United States legally, had applied for a waiver of the U.S. government’s strict vaccination policy for all legal foreign visitors but was denied that request even though Djokovic has already had Covid.
When news of Djokovic’s waiver denial hit Friday night, Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) demanded that the Biden administration intervene to grant the waiver. In a letter co-signed by fellow Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R), the pair used Biden’s own words to make a case for granting the waiver. Specifically, they mentioned Biden’s interview on 60 Minutes in which he declared the pandemic to be over. In addition, they cited a letter written by Dr. Anthony Fauci where the former NIH director wrote of the “limited efficacy of vaccines in protecting against respiratory pathogens, like the novel coronavirus.”
The White House did not lift the vaccine mandate until Monday of this week when it said that the last remaining federal vaccine mandates would disappear come May 11. The U.S. Open final season Grand Slam tournament will not be until August in New York.
Djokovic famously faced deportation from Australia in January 2022 ahead of the Australian Open. At the time, he arrived at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport after being granted a medical exemption to compete in the Australian Open, where he had hoped to earn a “record-breaking 21st Grand Slam,” according to Reuters. The champion was subsequently denied entry into the country when the state of Victoria, where the city of Melbourne is located, said the visa he applied for did not allow for a medical exemption.
Come January of this year, Djokovic returned to the Australian Open, where he won his 22nd Grand Slam title, tying with rival Rafael Nadal for most in history.
Paul Roland Bois joined Breitbart News in 2021. He also directed the award-winning feature film, EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed on Tubi, Google Play, YouTube Movies, or VIMEO On Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.