Last update: August 05, 2022, 00:26 AM IST
Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, whose refusal to get a Covid vaccine prevented him from entering Canada, has officially withdrawn from the ATP hard-court tournament in Montreal, organizers said on Thursday.
The Serbian star’s unvaccinated status makes it unlikely that he will play in the prestigious ATP Masters tournament, as it means he will likely miss the US Open starting in late August because The United States also requires visitors to the country to show proof of vaccination.
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Montreal Masters tournament director Eugene Lapierre said earlier this month that he did not expect Djokovic to play.
“Either the Canadian government is going to change the rules around vaccination or they’re going to roll up their sleeves and get the vaccine. But I don’t think either of those scenarios is realistic,” Lapierre said. .
Germany’s Oscar Otte has also withdrawn from the tournament, which starts Monday, with France’s Benjamin Bonzi and Australia’s Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios moving into the main draw, Tennis Canada said.
Also, three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray was given a wild card on Thursday along with Belgium’s David Goffin and Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Alexis Gallerneau.
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Britain’s Murray, a former world number one who won the Canadian title in 2009, 2010 and 2015, has dropped from 134th to 50th in the rankings this season.
He reached the finals in Sydney in January and Stuttgart in June, but fell to Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in the first round in Washington earlier this week.
Despite the disappointment, Murray said Monday he was confident he could get his ranking high enough to secure a seeding at the U.S. Open, which he won in a decade. First.
“It’s still possible,” Murray said. “I’ll just need to have a good run in Canada or Cincinnati. It’s pretty straightforward if I were to get to the quarterfinals or semifinals, which at this point — after a loss like that — doesn’t seem realistic.
“I feel like if I play a lot I can do it. But I definitely need to play better than I did today.”