Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com
Ace tennis star Novak Djokovic said he had no regrets about missing tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami due to his COVID-19 vaccination status.
But the Serbian star – who was not allowed to compete at Indian Wells and Miami due to his refusal to be vaccinated – still hopes that he will be allowed into the country to play at the US Open later this year.
Djokovic’s vaccine stance resulted in him missing six significant tournaments last season, including the Australian Open and US Open.
With vaccination against Covid-19 no longer required to enter the country, he competed in this year’s Australian Open in January and claimed a 22nd Grand Slam singles title.
The US currently bars unvaccinated foreigners from entering the country, though the policy is expected to be lifted when the government ends its Covid-19 emergency declarations next month.
Djokovic, 35, unsuccessfully applied to the US government for special permission to play at Indian Wells and Miami. Carlos Alcaraz leapfrogged the Serb back into top spot in the world rankings after winning the Indian Wells title on Sunday.
Djokovic, who will be back in action at the Monte Carlo Masters beginning on April 9, said he has no regrets about his decision.
“I have no regrets,” Djokovic told CNN. “I’ve learnt through life that regrets only hold you back and basically make you live in the past.
“I don’t want to do that. I also don’t want to live too much in the future. I want to be as much as in the present moment but of course think about future, create a better future.
“So I congratulate Alcaraz. He absolutely deserves to come back to number one.”
Djokovic said it was unfortunate he was not allowed to compete in the US where he won three of his 22 major titles.
“But at the same time, it’s the conscious decision I made and I knew that there is always a possibility that I won’t go,” Djokovic said.
“It’s the current state or current situation that I hope will change for later this year, for the US Open. That’s the most important tournament for me on American soil.”
The US Open begins at Flushing Meadows in New York on August 28.