Novak Djokovic withdraws from the US Open. He is unvaccinated against Covid-19 and not allowed to receive a visa and enter the country. That is all on me, of course, because I have asked the USFWS to ban him from entry, too.
Nadal’s decision was also triggered by the “unanimous” decision of the Court of Arbitration to ban him from the tournament, since his match against Gael Monfils was also going to be held there that week. He also did not participate in the Davis Cup draw as a team member! I believe his team lost against Israel. For those who are disappointed the decision is not final, there is an appeal to be heard.
Nadal played his first match on the grass at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, and the court was wet and the grass was muddy, as it usually is. As you can see, the play on the court did not look good for him. In fact, the court was covered up with grass on the first night for that event. The courts are covered in grass for the US Open only for that tournament. The rest have been replaced with temporary surface with artificial grass.
This week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport will hear whether or not Nadal will be banned for the remainder of the season from all tournaments except US Open and Australian Open. As it stands now, Nadal cannot enter a tournament due to his doping.
Nadal was given this year’s ban after failing out of a doping test in November of last year.
The last time the Swiss was hit with a ban was in 2008, but he was allowed to leave the tour for that tournament, having already been banned for 6 months. Nadal has not been banned from any other tennis tournament since then.
Nadal is now back at his training camp in Vila, and is going to be away for another two weeks, until the end of the season.
On a less positive note, a new study out from Germany has found that the COVID-19 spike has caused an outbreak of influenza