He also was the runner-up there a half-dozen times, including last season, when his pursuit of the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men's tennis since 1969 ended with a loss in the final to Daniil Medvedev.
Foreign citizens who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are currently unable to enter the U.S or Canada, and Djokovic has said he won't get the shots, even if that prevents him from playing in certain tournaments.
The U.S. Tennis Association has said all along it will follow government rules about vaccination status for this year's Open. There is no vaccine mandate at the tournament for players or their support teams — meaning that an unvaccinated American would be allowed to compete — and spectators will not be required to wear masks.
Djokovic missed the Australian Open in January after a protracted legal saga ended with his deportation from that country because he isn't vaccinated against COVID-19. He also sat out four significant tournaments in North America in 2022, including in Montreal and Cincinnati recently.
He did play in the French Open, where he lost in the quarterfinals to Nadal, and at Wimbledon, where Djokovic won the title.