US Open Betting Odds: Djokovic Tops Board, Will He be Allowed to Play?

Playing the Waiting Game, Again!

Novak Djokovic headlines the US Open betting odds market, but will he even be allowed to play at Flushing Meadows later this month?

It’s a waiting game again for Djokovic as he awaits a verdict on an exemption to travel to the United States. The former World No. 1 and 21-grand slam champion is currently not allowed to travel to North America because he is not vaccinated against Covid-19.

Djokovic is seeking to win a fourth US Open and 22nd Grand Slam title overall to rival Rafael Nadal in the history books. He recently won the Wimbledon Championships, picking up his 21st grand slam title.

Let Novak Djokovic Play?

The US government’s travel ban prevents unvaccinated people to enter the country and it has shown no inclination to remove said ban anytime soon.

It’s also showing little inclination to acquiesce to Djokovic’s pleas for a special exemption, though the Serbian is garnering some support among GOP lawmakers who’ve taken up his cause and want to see him play in New York later this month.

Arguably, Sen. Ted Cruz is the Serbian’s most ardent and vocal supporter. The Republican Texas senator has taken up his attempts to circumvent the rules like a political truncheon to score points against the current Biden administration.

Mr. Cruz called the federal rule that bans unvaccinated non-citizens’ entry “absurd” and issued a “let Novak Djokovic play” demand in an interview with the Daily Mail in July.

Elsewhere, tennis legend, John McEnroe, piped up, too. As a vocal supporter of the “let Novak Djokovic play” movement, he called it “crazy” and “ridiculous” if the 21-grand slam champion wasn’t allowed to compete.

McEnroe, probably better than anyone else, appreciates what Djokovic brings to the game. The fact that Novak Djokovic’s stats speak volumes and how the 35-year-old Serbian elevates the competition around him.

Having said that McEnroe was also quite philosophical and candid about Djokovic’s vaccination status in a recent interview, saying “ I don’t agree with his decision not to get vaccinated, but I respect it.”

He added that while Djokovic is one of the fittest athletes and very conscious about his health, “it’s unfortunate that it’s come to this situation where it has been a train wreck for him.”

Djokovic Tops Odds Board

The United States Tennis Association doesn’t have rules against nonvaccinated players participating, but it’s bound to respect the U.S. government’s position. Nevertheless, organizers have included Djokovic on the tournament’s entry list for the time being, and bookmakers have followed suit by installing him as the player to beat on the US Open betting odds board.

Djokovic started the year tied with Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 grand slam titles. However, Nadal picked up the Australian Open and French Open titles to move two ahead of the pair before Djokovic closed the gap at the All England Club last month.

Although Djokovic is in limbo – and may not even be allowed to play when all is said and done — bookmakers price him at +150 to win the US Open at the sportsbook exchange.

He’s priced shorter than defending champion Daniil Medvedev at +225 – a player that is 100% allowed to compete at this year’s US Open.

He’s also priced considerably shorter than 22-grand slam champion Rafael Nadal, who is installed as the +450 odds as we look at the latest US Open betting odds.

Given all the uncertainty surrounding Djokovic, one has to consider him as the most overrated tennis players on the US Open market right now.

Deja Vu! Here we go again!

Once again, Djokovic’s unvaccinated status is a major storyline heading into a grand slam. It was the dominant story going into the Australian Open. Now, it’s dominating the US Open.

The 35-year-old Serbian is staunchly against taking the vaccine shot. He has steadfastly refused to get it, even if it means missing certain tournaments. It hasn’t stopped him from pushing the envelope and lobbying for special status in light of the rules.

His stance is so obviously costing him personally and professionally. His attempts to compete at the Australian Open ignited a national and international media storm and ended with his unceremonious deportation after he lost his second court battle with the Australian Federal government. (His deportation came with a three-year ban on entering the country).

And this week, Djokovic was forced to announce his withdrawal from the upcoming Montreal Masters – one of the most prestigious hard-court tournaments of the summer’s US Open series events. Like its neighbor, Canada doesn’t allow unvaccinated people to enter the country.

The US Open begins on Monday, Aug. 29, and ends on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. It’s not long until the US government hands down its verdict on Djokovic’s bid to play at the US Open this year.

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