Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, whose refusal to get vaccinated against Covid made him unable to enter Canada, has officially withdrawn from the ATP hardcourt tournament in Montreal, organizers said on Thursday.
The Serbian star’s unvaccinated status makes him unlikely to play at the prestigious ATP Masters tournament, just as it means he will likely miss the US Open starting later in August as the US also requires visitors to the country to show proof of vaccination.
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Montreal Masters tournament director Eugene LePierre said earlier this month that he did not expect Djokovic to play.
“Either the Canadian government is going to change the vaccine rules or it’s going to roll up its sleeves and get the vaccine. But I don’t think either of those scenarios is realistic,” LaPierre said.
France’s Benjamin Bonzi and Australia’s Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios have also withdrawn from the tournament, which started on Monday, as has Germany’s Oscar Otte, Tennis Canada said.
Also, three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray was given wild cards on Thursday, along with Belgium’s David Goffin and Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Alexis Gallerneau.
Britain’s former world number one Murray, who won Canadian titles in 2009, 2010 and 2015, has climbed 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 Eimer in the first round in Washington earlier this week.
Despite that disappointment, Murray said Monday he believes he can get a high enough ranking to earn a seeding at the U.S. Open, which he won a decade ago.
“It’s still possible,” Murray said. “I need to have a really good run in Canada or Cincinnati. If I want to make the quarterfinals or the semifinals, it’s pretty straightforward, which right now — after a loss like that — doesn’t seem realistic.
“I think if I play really well I can do that. But I have to play better than I did today.”