Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

‘Novak Djokovic US Open absence is ‘sad,’ says top ten star

Casper Ruud says Novak Djokovic being forced to miss the US Open makes him ‘sad,’ although he’s not going to cry about it.

Djokovic does not wish to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and, although the US Open does not have a vaccination mandate, it means he is unable to enter the United States.

That has meant he has been forced to withdraw from the tournament, and Ruud says he is not personally in favour of the outcome.

“It’s an individual sport so all the players will think about themselves firstly, so it’s not too much talk, honestly,” Ruud said.

“I think it’s sad that politics will get in his way, or these rules will get in his way. I don’t see him as a threat to the public even though he’s not vaccinated.”

“He’s chasing Rafa [Nadal] with one more ahead of him in the Grand Slam count, so he’s chasing history.

“I do think that it could be in the best interest of the country. He has won there many times before and he has brought a great crowd to the stadium. You can argue that it’s in the best interest of the country. He’s a big superstar. Having him and Rafa in the final would be so epic, because everyone knows what’s on the line. I do think it’s very sad [but] for me personally, I’m not crying about it. But as a colleague I’m sad about it.

“This is a special case because of politics and I don’t think you should mix politics and sport because it makes a bad outcome. For him it’s so unfortunate, he won Wimbledon but didn’t win points for it.”

Novak Djokovic is set for another rankings drop after the US Open, with him certain to drop the 1,200 points he won last year for reaching the final.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.