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Novak Djokovic to return at the 2023 US Open: how many times has he won at Flushing Meadows?

The lifting of covid-19 restrictions in the US gives the Serb a boost in his Grand Slam battle with Rafael Nadal.

The lifting of covid-19 restrictions in the US gives the Serb a boost in his Grand Slam battle with Rafael Nadal.

The ‘will-he-won’t-he’ soap opera has finally come to an end. After days, weeks, and months of speculation and uncertainty, it has been revealed that Novak Djokovic will be allowed to play in this year’s US Open, the fourth and final Grand Slam of the tennis season, which begins on 28 August and Flushing Meadows in New York.

Why was Djokovic banned from playing in the US Open?

On Thursday, the United States Senate decided to lift covid-19 restrictions that had been in place since 13 March 2020. As reported by UK broadcaster Sky Sports, the US Senate passed a bill which means that visitors to the country no longer have to show proof of vaccination to enter the country. Djokovic is unvaccinated.

US President Joe Biden still has to sign the bill to make it official but is expected to do so sooner rather than later. It appears, then, that the Serb will make his long-awaited return to the Big Apple, where he hasn’t featured since losing in the 2021 final to Russian Danil Medvedev. The news will no doubt strike fear into the hearts of the rest of the US Open hopefuls, with Djokovic desperate to clinch a record 23rd Grand Slam title; he is currently tied with Spaniard Rafael Nadal on 22.

Djokovic’s refusal to be vaccinated against covid-19 has caused him to miss three big tournaments on American soil. As well as the 2022 US Open, he has also been forced to sit out two Masters 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami. The Serb requested special permission to enter the United States in order to be able to play but was refused by the authorities.

How many times has Djokovic won the US Open? Who holds the record?

Of the current world number two’s 22 Grand Slams, just three have come at the US Open (by contrast, he has won the Australian Open an incredible 10 times and Wimbledon on seven occasions). Djokovic defeated Nadal in four sets to win his first trophy in 2011 and recorded a similar triumph against Roger Federer in 2015. He hasn’t won the tournament since 2018, when he beat Argentine Juan Martín del Potro in straight sets.

In the pre-Open Era, Amercians Richard Sears, William Larned and Bill Tiden all won seven US Open titles. Three men have won the tournament on five occasions since the Open Era begun: Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Federer.


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