Rafael Nadal expressed sadness over Novak Djokovic’s decision to skip the U.S. Open and added that having a player of the Serbian’s calibre absent would be a significant loss for the hardcourt Grand Slam.
Djokovic, who won Wimbledon and now has 21 major singles titles, has chosen not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. On Thursday, he stated that he will be unable to go to New York for the year’s last Grand Slam.
To enter the United States legally, travellers must board flights with proof of immunisation.
Nadal, who now leads the men’s Grand Slam race with 22 victories, told reporters on Friday, “From my personal standpoint, it’s extremely terrible news.”
“It’s always a tragedy when the top athletes in the world are unable to compete in an event due to injuries or other factors.