Novak Djokovic said he had no regrets about missing tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami owing of his Covid-19 immunization status, but intended to return to the US for the US Open later this year.
The United States presently prohibits unvaccinated foreigners from entering the country; however, this ban is scheduled to be abolished after the government’s Covid emergency declarations expire in May.
Djokovic, 35, unsuccessfully sought special permission from the US authorities to compete in Indian Wells and Miami.
After winning the Indian Wells title on Sunday, Carlos Alcaraz reclaimed the top spot in the world rankings.
‘I have no regrets,’ Djokovic told CNN. ‘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.’
Djokovic said it was a pity he was not allowed to compete in the US, where he has enjoyed plenty of success including three of his 22 major titles.
‘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,’ Djokovic said.
‘It’s 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.’
The Serb said the controversy had not dented his enthusiasm for the sport.
‘Actually, the contrary, I’m as enthusiastic as ever, as motivated as ever for the sport, my family, my foundation, all the projects and everything I’m doing off the court,’ he said.
‘The dignity, and integrity, and staying true to myself, and my beliefs and my rights are above everything.’