American tennis player Tennis Sandgren felt the US Open organizers didn't even try to help Novak Djokovic secure an exemption to travel to the United States. On Thursday, Djokovic withdrew from the US Open after he was denied entry into the United States because of his vaccination status.
Djokovic waited until the last moment, hoping the CDC would change their policy and allow him, an unvaccinated foreigner, to enter the country. Sandgren is also not vaccinated against COVID-19 but he can compete at the US Open since he is a local.
Sandgren: The US Open didn't even try to help Djokovic
“We didn’t really try,” Sandgren told L'Equipe, via Tennis Majors. “They didn’t try to get an exemption for Novak. For the past two years, they’ve done everything they could to make the tournament happen.
The 2020 US Open was one of the strangest tournaments in history. No fans, all the players gathered in a hotel with no way out – if you stepped outside the allowed area, you were out of the draw. It was extremely strict.
The organisers were in constant contact with the State of New York and the health authorities to make sure the tournament went ahead. And they succeeded. They fought hard to make it happen. But now, for Novak, their speech is: “We have to apply what the government tells us, we can’t do anything.
It’s not coherent. I know that a player is not more important than a tournament, but it was worth a try, wasn’t it? The US Open has been fighting for two years to get exemptions. And tennis tournaments in general.
To play the French Open, to play the Australian Open. Everywhere, we have fought for exemptions, to put in place measures to allow tournaments to take place. But now, suddenly, we’re not fighting anymore because we don’t care.
In my opinion, we should give a damn”. Djokovic is now missing out on his second Grand Slam in 2022. Earlier this year, Djokovic wasn't allowed to compete at the Australian Open.