Novak Djokovic says he has “no regrets” not being able to play Indian Wells and the Miami Open in the United States due to his vaccination status.
Djokovic is not allowed to travel to the United States due to his decision not to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
On Monday, Djokovic lost his place at the top of the men’s singles standings – a position the 35-year-old has held for more weeks than any other player – after missing out on Indian Wells and Carlos Alcaraz, 19, winning the tournament .
Djokovic will also miss the Miami Open this week.
“No, I have no regrets,” Djokovic said in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson. “I’ve learned throughout life that regrets just hold you back and 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 thinking about the future, creating a better future. I therefore congratulate Alcaraz. He absolutely deserves to return to No. 1.
“It’s a shame that I couldn’t play in Indian Wells, Miami. I love these tournaments.
“I had a lot of success there, but at the same time it was the conscious decision I made and I knew there was always a possibility that I wouldn’t go, and that is the current state or current situation that I hope will change for later this year for the US Open.
“This is the most important tournament for me on American soil.”
Djokovic reiterated that at this stage of his career, Grand Slam events are what matter most to him and he will be waiting to see if he can go to New York and play the US Open.
“I really want to play there, I want to be there,” Djokovic said. “I actually had in 2021 when I lost in the final to (Daniil) Medvedev, probably one of the best times I’ve ever had with the New York public and I was lucky to win this tournament three times, play many finals.
“Even though I lost that game, I got 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 that I look forward and hope it happens.
For now, Djokovic’s focus has shifted to the upcoming clay-court season in Europe.
Of his 22 major singles titles – tying him with Rafael Nadal for the most in men’s tennis – Djokovic has won the French Open, the next grand slam on the tennis calendar, twice.