Novak Djokovic has ‘no regrets’ as he prefers to look forward to ‘most important tournament on US soil’

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Novak Djokovic off court Credit: Alamy
Novak Djokovic off court Credit: Alamy

Novak Djokovic refuses to “live in the past” and won’t dwell on missing the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open, saying he has already looking ahead to returning to the United States later this year to compete at the US Open.

For the second consecutive year, Djokovic missed the Sunshine Double as he was unable to play in Indian Wells and Miami due to the Covid-19 regulations in the US.

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The 22-time Grand Slam winner – who also missed last year’s US Open due to his unvaccinated status – did not meet entry requirements as foreign travellers who have not been vaccinated are not allowed to enter the United States.

Djokovic applied for a special exemption to compete in the events, but his request was dismissed and he eventually withdrew from both tournaments.

“No, I have no regrets,” he said during an interview on CNN. “I’ve learned through life that regrets only hold you back and basically make you live in the past. And 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.”

He was No 1 in the ATP Rankings ahead of the Indian Wells Open, but Carlos Alcaraz regained top spot after the Spaniard won the ATP Masters 1000 tournament.

US lawmakers, though, have already announced that they will drop their Covid-19 regulations on May 11 and that will pave the way for Djokovic to compete at the US Open in August.

The Serbian added: “So I congratulate Alcaraz. He absolutely deserves to come back to No 1.

“It’s a pity that I wasn’t able to play in Indian Wells [and] Miami. I love those tournaments. I had plenty of success there. But at the same time, it is 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 is the most important tournament for me on the American soil.”

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Djokovic’s last appearance on American soil came at the 2021 US Open when he lost the final in straight sets against Daniil Medvedev while the last of his three US Open titles came in 2018.

“I really want to be playing there, want to be there,” he said. “I actually had in 2021 when I lost in the finals against Medvedev, probably one of the best moments I ever had with the New York crowd.

“And I’ve been fortunate to win that tournament three times, play many finals. And even though I lost that match, I received a lot of love and appreciation from people and I want to go back and I want to reconnect with the crowd there. So that’s something I’m looking forward to and hopefully it will happen.”

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