Just weeks before the US Open, Novak Djokovic withdraws from the Canadian Open due to the vaccine mandate.

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NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! Novak Djokovic said he is “preparing” for the U.S. Open later this month as though he will be able to play, but the 21-time Grand Slam champion withdrew from the Canadian Open on Thursday due to the nation’s requirement that all visitors receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Similar to the US, Canada forbids unvaccinated foreigners from entering the nation, which led Djokovic to withdraw from the competition.

This month’s U.S. Open, where Djokovic is aiming to capture a record-tying fourth victory on the hard courts at Flushing Meadows in New York, could be a preview of what to come from Thursday’s revelation.

Novak Djokovic waves to the crowd after losing to Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final of the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York on Sept. 12, 2021.

On September 12, 2021, in New York, after losing to Daniil Medvedev in the men’s singles U.S. Open tennis championship final, Novak Djokovic waves to the fans. (Elise Amendola/AP Photo)

On July 10, after defeating Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic stated that he “would love” to compete in the year’s last Grand Slam event but added, “Im not intending to get vaccinated.”

In a statement released last month, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) said that although the competition does not have a mandatory vaccination requirement, it will follow federal law.

Novak Djokovic plays against Aljaz Bedene during the 2022 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris on May 27, 2022.

On May 27, 2022, at Roland Garros in Paris, Novak Djokovic competes against Aljaz Bedene in the French Open. (Antonio Borga/Getty Images/Eurasia Sport Images)

The USTA stated that although there is no vaccine requirement for players at the U.S. Open, it will respect the government’s stance on non-citizens entering the country without a valid visa.

Djokovic missed a number of events in California, Florida, and Ohio earlier this season as a result of his deportation from Australia in January due to his vaccination status. Next on his list is the U.S. Open, which gets underway on August 29.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic returns the ball during an exhibition match in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on July 13, 2022.

On July 13, 2022, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic serves the ball back during a practice match in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Xinhua/Nedim Grabovica via Getty Images

Djokovic stated last week on social media that he is concentrating on his preparation for the U.S. Open “as if I will be permitted to compete.”

To all of you, he wrote, “I just wanted to take a moment to express how grateful I am to see so many messages of support and love from all over the world these days. “While I wait to find out if there is space for me to travel to the United States, I am practicing as if I will be able to compete. Cross your fingers!”

Digital Reporter Paulina Dedaj works for Fox Business and Fox News. Paulina Dedaj can be followed on Twitter at @PaulinaDedaj. You may send Paulina an email with a tip at Paulina.Dedaj@fox.com.

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