After a two-year absence, Novak Djokovic is lastly again within the US because the world No. 2 prepares for this week’s Cincinnati Open.
Djokovic was denied entry to America for final yr’s US Open attributable to his refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine, which required non-citizens on the time to indicate full vaccination standing to enter the nation.
The three-time US champion was prepared to step out of the ultimate Grand Slam of the yr to stay to his rules, a choice that helped Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz ultimately win at Flushing Meadows.
While Covid-19 restrictions are actually extra relaxed world wide, Djokovic has been in a position to return to the United States for each the US Open and this week’s Cincinnati warmup.
He acquired a hero’s reception within the nation on Monday when the standing room-only crowd gathered to look at his follow session at Mason two days earlier than his opening spherical of 32 match.
Novak Djokovic says it’s a “pleasure and an honor” to be again in America after a two-year absence
Djokovic was denied entry to the US final yr for his refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine
W&S @WLWT: After publicly thanking his American followers earlier immediately, Novak Djokovic indicators autographs for greater than 20 minutes after his follow session.
The is again. pic.twitter.com/P7gOTBSpBz
— Charlie Clifford (@char_cliff) August 13, 2023
And after receiving a heat reception from followers, Djokovic insisted it was a “pleasure and an honor” to return to America.
“It’s been two years since I was last in America, so of course I’m excited and really looking forward to coming,” he stated.
“I haven’t been to Cincinatti since 2019, so good to be again. I’ve seen lots of younger followers on the follow tracks in latest days, at all times good to see.
“People love their tennis and naturally for me as a participant it’s at all times a pleasure, an honor and a pleasure to be there and get a lot assist and a spotlight. So I’m wanting ahead to collaborating this weekend.’
In truth, Djokovic was so stunned by the extent of assist that he requested his coach in the event that they had been heading in the right direction for his follow session.
He added in an ATP Tour interview, “It was nice, to be trustworthy. I used to be joking with my coach, and I requested him if we (are) heading in the right direction as a result of we thought it was a match. He really stated he thought it was a sport as a result of it was a sport discipline.
‘It’s actually nice. I’m very grateful for having so many individuals come to a follow session, which is nice. Again, I’ve been by a variety of tournaments world wide, comparable atmospheres by way of massive attendances on the follow courts.
The Serb will attempt to get better from his final defeat at Wimbledon towards Carlos Alcaraz
“People had been actually into it. Like I stated earlier than, lots of younger followers, that’s at all times one thing I prefer to see. That provides me much more inspiration to play my greatest tennis of the event.’
Djokovic will face Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina or Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry within the spherical of 32.
Alcaraz, who beat Djokovic in an exciting Wimbledon closing final month, has additionally arrived in Cincinnati forward of his personal 32-game spherical this week.
The present world No. 1 will face American star John Isner or Australian Jordan Thompson.