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Novak Djokovic’s failure participate in the US Open Due to his vaccination status earlier this month, the 21-time Grand Slam champion has no regrets, even if it means more time between tournaments and a drop in rankings.

At a press conference on Thursday, Djokovic stood by his decision not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the Laver Cup in Londonsaying he was well aware of the consequences.

Novak Djokovic of Team Europe looks on during the first day of the Laver Cup at the O2 Arena on September 23, 2022 in London, England.
(Luke Walker/Getty Images for Laver Cup)

“I don’t regret anything. I mean, I’m so sorry I couldn’t play (at the US Open), but it was a decision I made and I knew what the consequences would be,” he said Thursday. “So I made them and that’s it.”

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Federal travel restrictions prevented Djokovic from entering the US, as non-citizens must be vaccinated against COVID to gain entry.

United States Tennis Association (USTA) issued a statement over the summer announcing that while the tournament does not have a vaccine mandate, it will follow federal policy.

“I’m not used to taking longer breaks between tournaments, obviously, in the last 15-20 years, but that’s how it is,” added Djokovic. “I found myself in such a situation. I’m just excited to be able to play here now — and most of the other indoor (tournaments) for the rest of the season.”

FILE - Novak Djokovic of Serbia wipes off sweat during practice at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, April 30, 2022.

FILE – Novak Djokovic of Serbia wipes off sweat during practice at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, April 30, 2022.
(AP Photo/Manu Fernandes, File)

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Djokovic was deported from Australia in January after traveling there on a visa without a medical exemption to compete in the first Grand Slam of the year. While he was able to perform at the French Open and later won Wimbledon, he is currently ranked 7th in the world, in part because ranking points were not awarded at the All England Club due to the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes.

Djokovic faces a three-year ban as a result of his deportation, but that’s not something he’s particularly thinking about, despite hoping for the best.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup after defeating Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the men’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021.
(AP Photo/Mark Dadswell, File)

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“It’s really out of my hands right now,” he said Thursday. “So I’m hoping to get some positive news.”

Australian Open became one of Djokovic’s most successful performances – he won a record nine titles. Back in May, he said he held “no grudges” over the incident and that if I had the chance, “I’d love to go back.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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