Novak Djokovic will fly to Dubai on Thursday for next week’s ATP tournament start with his bid to somehow enter the US next month without a COVID jab still hanging.
The Serb spoke with local media on Tuesday in Belgrade, outlining his travel plans and trying to put to bed the controversy over a mysterious hamstring injury which many doubters claim was a mere niggle instead of a major problem.
As expected the 22-time Grand Slam winner gave little or nothing away about his controversial Australian Open hamstring problem beyond a few reassuring cliches.
“The injury is fixed, I’m getting close to 100 per cent, things are looking very good and as a team we made the decision to go to Dubai,” he said.
“I’m travelling tomorrow and I’ll do my best to go as far as possible. Ambitions are the highest in every tournament.”
But the longtime anti-vaxxer who has vowed never to submit to a COVID jab like almost all of his fellow players refuses to believe that he will be forced to miss the March Masters 1000 pair of tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami.
He has put in a so-called “special application” to enter the US without the jabs still required for foreigners.
“As for the plans after (Dubai) – I don’t know, it depends on the situation with America,” he said.
“I’m still waiting for an answer. I’m preparing for a tour there, but we’ll see how things go in the next two weeks.”
The US looks set to loosen remaining COVID travel restrictions in May – too late for Djokovic, who was deported form Australia in January, 2022, for trying to cross that border unjabbed.