RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT
VIDEO SHOWS: MESSAGE POSTED ON NOVAK DJOKOVIC'S TWITTER PAGE, FILE FOOTAGE OF NOVAK DJOKOVIC INCLUDING HIM POSING WITH THE U.S. OPEN TROPHY, FILE FOOTAGE OF FLUSHING MEADOW - THE VENUE FOR THE U.S. OPEN
INTERNET (AUGUST 13, 2020) (SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
1. MESSAGE POSTED ON NOVAK DJOKOVIC'S TWITTER PAGE, READING (English): "I'M HAPPY TO CONFIRM THAT I'LL PARTICIPATE AT #CINCYTENNIS AND #USOPEN THIS YEAR. IT WAS NOT AN EASY DECISION TO MAKE WITH ALL THE OBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES ON MANY SIDES, BUT THE PROSPECT OF COMPETING AGAIN MAKES ME REALLY EXCITED"
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FILE - SEPTEMBER 14, 2015) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
2. 2015 U.S. OPEN CHAMPION NOVAK DJOKOVIC KISSING TROPHY WHILE POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS IN CENTRAL PARK
3. MANHATTAN SKYLINE / DJOKOVIC POSING WITH TROPHY
4. CLOSE OF U.S. OPEN TROPHY / DJOKOVIC
5. DJOKOVIC HOLDING TROPHY
6. VARIOUS OF DJOKOVIC HOLDING TROPHY ABOVE HIS HEAD
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - NOVEMBER 8, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
7. VARIOUS OF NOVAK DJOKOVIC PRACTISING AHEAD OF ATP TOUR FINALS
ZADAR, CROATIA (FILE - JUNE 19, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
8. NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND BORNA CORIC ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE
9. PLAYERS AT NEWS CONFERENCE INCLUDING CORIC AND GRIGOR DIMITROV (HAT)
11. PLAYERS, INCLUDING CORIC AND DIMITROV POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS
12. BISERKA PETROVIC (MOTHER OF DRAZEN PETROVIC EX NBA PLAYER) GIVES BASKETBALL JERSEY TO DJOKOVIC
13. GROUP PHOTO
BELGRADE, SERBIA (FILE - JUNE 14, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
14. DOMINIC THIEM HOLDING WINNER'S TROPHY AFTER FIRST ADRIA TOUR EVENT, ARMS LINKED WITH DJOKOVIC, POSING FOR PHOTOS
15. THIEM AND DJOKOVIC LEAVING NEWS CONFERENCE TABLE FOLLOWED BY APPLAUSE
BELGRADE, SERBIA (FILE - JUNE 12, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
16. VARIOUS OF DIMITROV (SECOND LEFT) SEATED NEXT TO (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) ALEXANDER ZVEREV, NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND DOMINIC THIEM AT A NEWS CONFERENCE AHEAD OF THE FIRST LEG OF DJOKOVIC'S ADRIA TOUR
17. ZVEREV, DJOKOVIC, DIMITROV AND THIEM POSING FOR PHOTOS TOGETHER
ZADAR, CROATIA (FILE - JUNE 21, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
18. VARIOUS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE ADRIA TOUR VENUE
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (FILE - FEBRUARY 3, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
19. VARIOUS OF DJOKOVIC POSING WITH AUSTRALIAN OPEN TROPHY AND KISSING TROPHY AFTER WINNING THE 2020 TITLE
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (MARCH 31, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
20. VARIOUS OF ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM - THE MAIN STADIUM AT FLUSHING MEADOW - THE VENUE FOR THE U.S. OPEN
21. VARIOUS OF TENNIS CENTRE
22. SIGN FOR "FLUSHING MEADOWS CORONA PARK"
23. EXTERIOR OF ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM
24. EXTERIOR OF ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM / UNISPHERE
STORY: World number one Novak Djokovic will compete at the August 31 - September 13 U.S. Open and the Western & Southern Open curtain-raiser, the winner of 17 Grand Slam titles said in a statement on Thursday (August 13).
His decision will come as good news for the U.S. Open organisers after several high-profile players, including former winners Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka, pulled out over issues related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
But it is also a U-turn from Djokovic after his June statements that competing at the 2020 U.S. Open would be "impossible" due to "extreme" COVID-19 protocols for the tournament at Flushing Meadows.
"I am happy to confirm that I will participate at the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open this year," the 33-year old Serb said.
"It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on so many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited."
Djokovic and three other players contracted the coronavirus at the Serb's Adria Tour event in June, with the first leg being held at his tennis centre in Belgrade and the second in Croatia's coastal city Zadar.
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov tested positive ahead of the Zadar leg final, which was scrapped as a result, with Djokovic, his compatriot Viktor Troicki and Croatian Borna Coric also testing positive shortly afterwards.
The remaining two legs in Bosnia and Montenegro were cancelled and Djokovic resumed training in Belgrade and more recently at the Spanish resort of Marbella after his second COVID-19 test came back negative.
The U.S. Open will be the first Grand Slam event to be held since the COVID-19 pandemic threw the season into chaos, with this year's Wimbledon cancelled while the French Open has been rescheduled for a September 27 - October 11 slot.
(Production: Tim Hart)