Novak Djokovics coach makes Joe Biden plea over US Open ban days after bleak claim

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Novak Djokovic’s coach has asked Joe Biden to change his mind over America’s travel restrictions as unvaccinated foreign nationals like the Serb remain banned from entering the country with less than six weeks until the US Open. Goran Ivanisevic previously claimed it was near impossible that his charge would be allowed to compete this year.

Djokovic looks set to be stopped from competing in the final Grand Slam of the year as the United States refuses entry to unvaccinated travellers. It would be the second time this season the world No 7 finds himself banned from a Major over his vaccine status, and his coach is now hoping Joe Biden can stop a repeat of the Australian Open, where Djokovic’s visa was cancelled twice before he was deported.

Former world No 1-turned-coach Ivanisevic has now admitted: “Maybe Biden will change his mind.” It comes after the 50-year-old Croat claimed he had a better chance of winning next week’s tournament in Umag than his charge did at getting into America for the US Open, saying: “I am more optimistic that I will win Umag if I get an invitation from Tomislav [Poljak, tournament director], than Djokovic will triumph at the US Open.”

But the 2001 Wimbledon champion has since become more optimistic that the restrictions can be relaxed in time for the tournament, adding: “There are a lot of crazy things happening in the world. Every day something changes, every day something new happens.”

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Ivanisevic was by Djokovic’s side when the 35-year-old was deported from Australia at the start of the season and recently slammed the restrictions the 21-time Major champion had been subject to this season. “I got vaccinated, but I hope that this madness, which has been following us for two years, will stop soon,” he previously said.

“Tennis players played infected in Australia and at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. An unvaccinated person who is not infected cannot enter the USA, but a vaccinated person who is infected can. That person can also infect hundreds of others. It’s crazy.”

His new, more positive outlook comes after the US Open published their entry list on Wednesday, with Djokovic named as one of the competitors. But the final Grand Slam tournament of the year quickly issued a statement clarifying that this was just part of procedure, and confirming they would follow government guidelines on who could and couldn’t enter the country.


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“Per the Grand Slam Rule Book, all eligible players are automatically entered into the men’s and women’s singles main draw fields based on ranking 42 days prior to the first Monday of the event,” it read.

“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the U.S. government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-U.S. citizens.”

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