It was announced last week that 21-time Grand Slam Champion Novak Djokovic was included on the entry list for 2022’s U.S. Open. This comes on the heels of a lengthy saga involving Djokovic, in which his COVID-19 unvaccinated status was made public and he was deported from Australia prior to the Australian Open. While Djokovic continues to state that he will not be seeking the COVID-19 vaccination and the U.S. Open has stated that they’ll “respect the U.S. government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-U.S. citizens,” petitions on sites like change.org have accumulated tens of thousands of signatures from those who wish him to be allowed to play. For the time being, he is not expected to do so, nor is he expected to play in the Australian Open any time again in the near future due to his failure to truthfully disclose his unvaccinated status when traveling to the country, which resulted in the removal of his visa for three years.
What is coming next for Djokovic remains in question, as vaccine requirements when traveling to other countries (including the US) will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. If his status does not change, his likely next opportunity to participate in a grand slam tennis tournament will be the 2023 French Open.
Garcia Tops Bogdan at Poland Open
On Sunday afternoon, Caroline Garcia defeated Ana Bogdan for the second time in their careers to win the Poland Open. Prior to the match, the pre-match tennis lines indicated that Garcia would be the favorite and those lines clearly had the right idea, as Garcia cruised to victory against the overmatched Bogdan. Following Sunday’s win, Garcia has two titles in 2022 (her first coming at the Bad Homburg Open in Germany), after a three year period of no title wins.
With Garcia’s win at the Poland Open, she improves to 18-3 in her past 21 matches, and looks to be making a push for a reclamation of her former spot in the top 15 of the women’s tennis world. As of her victory in Poland, she has improved from 55th overall to 33rd overall, giving her one of the most significant jumps in the top 100. And, despite her loss in the Final, Ana Bogdan’s stock rose significantly as well, moving her outside the top 100 to 75th overall.
With both women over a decade into their pro careers, and both at the tail-end of their 20s, their time for claiming a consistent spot in the top 10 may be drawing to a close, but with more runs like they one they both had in the Poland Open, both women do still have a shot at additional titles. Tennis is certainly a young person’s game at the top of the sport (particularly women’s tennis), with 28 years old as the current oldest age of anyone in the top 10 and 19 the youngest, but the top 20 is populated by multiple women in their early 30s so with the right run, both Garcia and Bogdan could conceivably capitalize on their current momentum and improved rankings.