Novak Djokovic WILL play at the US Open this year and says he is ‘fully recovered’ from coronavirus after sparking outrage with controversial ‘bone-headed’ Adria Tour in June and his anti-vaxxer stance
- Novak Djokovic has confirmed his attendance at this year’s US Open in New York
- The world No 1 was unsure about jetting out due to restrictions around the event
- He will now touch down on August 15 and become part of the biosecure bubble
- Djokovic contracted coronavirus after hosting the ill-fated Adria Tour in June
- And the 33-year-old was also criticised for revealing he opposed vaccinations
Novak Djokovic has confirmed he will take part at the US Open this year after recovering from coronavirus – but admitted the decision to jet out for the tournament was not an easy one.
The world No 1 will touch down in New York on August 15 and will also become part of the bio-secure bubble introduced to help protect players during the pandemic.
Rafael Nadal, the defending champion, has already announced his withdrawal from the event due to fears stemming from the global health crisis.
Novak Djokovic will take part at the US Open this year after recovering from coronavirus
Djokovic, who is just three behind Roger Federer’s Grand Slam record of 20 titles, was also initially reluctant to confirm his attendance. He had claimed that the safety restrictions imposed around the tournament made it ‘impossible’ for him to travel.
But players have now been given the green light to rent private homes instead of being forced to stay quarantined inside hotels during their lengthy stay. And the change in measures appears to have swayed Djokovic into taking part.
He wrote on his official website: ‘It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited.
The world No 1 will touch down in New York on August 15 and then enter the bio-secure bubble
‘During my career, I have played some of my best matches at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
‘I am aware that this time around it will be very different with all the protocols and safety measures that are put in place to protect players and people of NY.’
Djokovic was forced to apologise after testing positive for coronavirus as a result of his ill-fated Adria Tour competition in June.
Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all revealed they had contracted the disease following their games at the event, which took place across Serbia and Croatia.
Djokovic’s ill-fated Adria Tour came under scrutiny after players were pictured out partying
The event, organised by Djokovic, was condemned to widespread anger after shocking footage emerged of players flouting social distancing guidelines.
Images showed the 33-year-old and a host of other contenders dancing half-naked together at a Belgrade nightclub.
Djokovic’s brother Djordje, who was a director of the tournament, quickly confirmed that the remaining Adria Tour events in Banja Luka and Sarajevo had been cancelled.
Andy Murray believed that the flurry of positive tests that shrouded the poorly-timed showpiece were a ‘lesson for us’, Nick Kyrgios also described many players’ decision to partake as ‘bone-headed’.
Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all contracted coronavirus after the Adria Tour
But Djokovic, who was forced to self-isolate alongside his wife after falling victim to Covid-19, has revealed that he has passed all his health checks ahead of flying out to the United States.
He added: ‘I have trained hard with my team and got my body in shape so I am ready to adapt to new conditions. I’ve done all the check-ups to make sure I am fully recovered and I am ready to get back on court fully committed to playing my best tennis.’
Djokovic revealed in April that his controversial opposition to vaccinations, which has also led to criticism, may have prevented him from returning to competitive tennis.