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Novak Djokovic breaks silence on Sunshine Double omission due...
Novak Djokovic has lost the world No.1 ranking after skipping the American events (Picture: Getty)
Novak Djokovic has broken his silence on missing the 2023 Sunshine Double due to his refusal to get vaccinated against coronavirus.
Djokovic’s omission has seen him lose the world No.1 ranking to Carlos Alcaraz, who lifted the Indian Wells trophy last week.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner skipped Indian Wells and will not be present at the Miami Open either, with United States officials unwilling to hand him an exemption to enter the country and the Serbian not backing down on his stance.
Djokovic won the Australian Open in January – his record-extending 10th title at Melbourne Park to match Rafael Nadal for the most major men’s singles titles in history – and is set to return to action on clay at the Monte-Carlo Masters in April.
The 35-year-old’s stance on the Covid-19 vaccine has seen him miss several events in the past and he has been branded an ‘anti-vax poster boy’ for his views.
At last year’s Australian Open, he was deported and spent time locked up in an immigration facility after being engulfed in a political row over coronavirus.
Djokovic has now opened up about missing this year’s events in California and Miami in an interview with American news channel CNN.
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‘I have no regrets,’ Djokovic said. ‘I’ve learned through life that regrets only hold you back and basically make you live in the past. I don’t want to do that.
‘I also don’t want to live too much in the future. I want to be as much as in the present moment but of course think about future, create a better future. So I congratulate Alcaraz. He absolutely deserves to come back to No 1.
‘But at the same time, it’s the conscious decision I made and I knew that there is always a possibility that I won’t go.
‘And it is the current state or current situation that I hope will change for later this year, for the US Open. That’s the most important tournament for me on American soil.’
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