Novak Djokovic will not play Nationwide Financial institution Open in Montreal

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Novak Djokovic of Serbia will not be playing at the National Bank Open Aug. 5-14 in Montreal.

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Tennis Canada did not provide an explanation for why Djokovic pulled out when it announced Thursday it has extended wild-card invitations to Canadians Alexis Galarneau and Vasek Pospisil, British star Andy Murray and Belgian David Goffin.

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Djokovic’s withdrawal was a foregone conclusion, given his unvaccinated status. Anybody travelling into Canada must have at least two doses of the vaccination against the coronavirus. Djokovic remains steadfast in his decision not to get the vaccine.

Djokovic, who collected his 21st career grand slam title by winning at Wimbledon last month, also pulled out of the Miami Masters at Indian Wells because of his vaccination status, and his participation in the U.S. Open could also be at risk.

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Tennis Canada also announced Oscar Otte of Germany, ranked 41st in the world, was pulling out of the tournament, in his case because of injury.

The two withdrawals opened up spots for 51st-ranked Benjamin Bonzi of France and 63rd-ranked Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the main draw.

Murray, a three-time Canadian champion (2009, 2010 and 2015) has been rapidly climbing back up the rankings, from 134th to 50th, reaching the finals in Sydney and Stuttgart.

Galarneau, 23, from Laval, is ranked 238th in the world, up from 378th at the start of the season, and reached the final of the National Bank Challenger in Winnipeg last Sunday.

Pospisil, 32, of Vernon, B.C., is ranked 141st and has played in the Canadian Open 13 times, his best result reaching the semifinal in 2013, when he lost to fellow Canadian Milos Raonic.

Goffin, 60th in ATP singles rankings, reached the quarter-final at Wimbledon this year.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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