Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic will take part in the Tel Aviv Open, which begins on 26 September. Djokovic wasn't permitted to play the US Open and the tournaments preceding the New York Major, the Canadian Open and the Cincinnati Masters, because of his unvaccinated status.
The ATP 250 event was awarded one of six single-year licenses after the cancellation of the Chinese swing. Tel Aviv has a strong ATP history, as it was part of the men’s tour calendar from 1978-1981 and 1983-1986. In 1989, Jimmy Connors won his men's record-extending 109th and final tour-level trophy over Gilad Bloom from Israel.
Meanwhile, tennis fans across the world are not happy with Djokovic’s absence from the US Open. Last week, the USTA expressed that it was "unfortunate" that Novak Djokovic was out of the US Open.
"Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he will be unable to compete at the 2022 US Open, as he is unable to enter the country due to the federal government's vaccination policy for non-US citizens. We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open," the USTA said in a statement released.
Similarly, 2022 Australian and French Open winner Rafael Nadal wasn’t happy about Novak Djokovic missing the US Open as he returns to the American major for the first time in three years. While the 36-year-old will be looking to clinch the 23rd Grand Slam over the next fortnight in New York, he acknowledged the fact that the absence of Djokovic left him "very sad."
"From my personal perspective, it's very sad news," Nadal said. "It's always a shame when the best players of the world are not able to play a tournament because of injuries or because of different reasons. In this case, not having one of the best players of the history in the draw of the Grand Slam is always an important miss, no? Tough for the fans, tough for the tournament. In my opinion, tough for the players, too, because we want to have the best field possible."