Tennis: Djokovic Says ‘No Regrets’ About Missing US Events

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Serbian tennis legend Novak Djokovic said he had “no regrets” about missing tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami due to his COVID-19 vaccination status, but hoped that he would be allowed into the United States later this year for the US Open Grand Slam.

The US currently bars unvaccinated foreigners from entering the country, though the policy is expected to be lifted when the government ends its COVID emergency declarations in May. Djokovic, 35, unsuccessfully applied to the US government for special permission to play at Indian Wells and Miami.

Carlos Alcaraz leapfrogged the Serbian back into top spot in the men’s tennis world rankings after winning the Indian Wells title on Sunday.

Serbian tennis legend Novak Djokovic

“I have no regrets,” Djokovic said in an interview. “I’ve learned 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 a pity he was not allowed to compete in the US, where he has enjoyed plenty of success including 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 added.

“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 Serbian said the controversy had not dented his enthusiasm for the sport.

“Actually, the contrary, I’m as enthusiastic as ever, as motivated as ever for the sport, my family, my foundation, all the projects and everything I’m doing off the court,” Djokovic said.

“The dignity, and integrity, and staying true to myself, and my beliefs and my rights are above everything.”

Source Reuters
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