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Djokovic to play at US Open

Action shot of Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic is a three-time winner of the US Open

World number one Novak Djokovic has confirmed he will play at the US Open, which starts on 31 August, in New York.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal has already decided not to enter because of concerns about Covid-19, while five-time winner Roger Federer is recovering from knee surgery.

In June, Djokovic called the US Open’s coronavirus safety protocols “extreme”.

“It was not an easy decision to make, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited,” he said.external-link

Djokovic, who is president of the ATP Player Council, had previously questioned the protocols in place for the tournament to go ahead and spoke to organisers about his concerns.

The 33-year-old will arrive in the United States on 15 August to compete at the Western and Southern Open, which takes place in New York – instead of its usual Cincinnati home – from 20 to 28 August.

Both events are to be held without fans at Flushing Meadows, with players having to follow strict safety measures.

Despite those measures, a number of other players have followed Nadal in withdrawing, including women’s world number one Ashleigh Barty and fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios.

Former world number one Andy Murray is expected to compete after being granted a wildcard.

Djokovic has not played since apologising after he and three other players tested positive for Covid-19 at his own Adria Tour competition.

He later admitted it had been “too soon” to stage the tournament.

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