How could ‘unvaccinated’ Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal impact men’s US Open 2022 draw?

A look at how the possible withdrawal of Novak Djokovic from the US Open 2022 could affect the draw for the upcoming final Grand Slam tournament of the year.

How could ‘unvaccinated’ Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal impact men’s US Open 2022 draw?

21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic’s participation in the US Open 2022 has been a topic of discussion for the tennis world, ever since he won the Wimbledon Championships 2022. He is yet to make an on-court appearance after winning the Wimbledon 2022 title. Djokovic, being unvaccinated for Covid-19, was barred to participate in the season-opening major, Australia Open 2022, and most recently, he was unable to travel to Canada and United States for the ATP tournaments.

Meanwhile, as per Eurosport, Djokovic is entered into the US Open 2022 and has been seeded fifth after Alexander Zverev’s withdrawal. However, with his participation still in doubt due to the Covid-19 vaccination mandates in the US, there might be significant changes to the draw if he pulls out of the tournament in the coming week. While the US Open 2022 begins on August 29, the draw for the major tournament is scheduled to take place on August 25.

What happens to the draw if Novak Djokovic pulls out of US Open 2022?

The US Open 2022 will feature 32 seeded players in the men’s and women’s singles draw. While the current World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev is set to be the top seed in men’s singles, World No. 6 Djokovic will be seeded fifth, after world No. 5 Zevrev pulled out of the tournament due to an ankle injury. However, if Djokovic pulls out of US Open 2022 before Thursday’s draw, it will have major effects on the main draw.

As per the International Tennis Federation Grand Slam rule book, “Any vacancy created by the withdrawal of a seed prior to the release of the Order of Play for the first day of Main Draw shall be filled as follows:

“If the withdrawal is among seeds 5 to 16, the 17th seed is moved into the open position and the 17th position shall be filled by the next highest ranked player eligible to be seeded.”

What happens if Djokovic pulls out after the US Open 2022 draw?

In case Djokovic pulls out after the draw, but before the release of Order of Play for the first day, the 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut will replace him, while his fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic will move up into the 17th spot. Kecmanovic is currently the 33rd highest-ranked player. Meanwhile, if Djokovic withdraws after the first day’s Order of Play has been released, his place in the draw will be taken by a player who lost in the qualifying.

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