MASON, Ohio (WCMH) — One of the greatest tennis players of all time is in Ohio this week for what is his first tennis tournament on U.S. soil in two years.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic is in Mason for the 2023 Western & Southern Open, his first time competing in the United States in two years after not being allowed in the country due to his COVID-19 vaccination status. Djokovic did not participate in the 2022 U.S. Open with unvaccinated foreign citizens unable to enter the U.S. or Canada at the time of the major.

With those restrictions lifted, the record 23-time Grand Slam winner is back in America and was welcomed by thousands at the Lindner Family Tennis Center this weekend for his first practice session.

Djokovic has won the Western & Southern Open twice with victories in 2018 in Ohio and 2020 in New York, with the 2020 edition moving to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center due to the pandemic. The Serbian is the No. 2 seed and has earned a bye into the second round. He is scheduled to play his first match on Wednesday.

The Ohio-based ATP and WTA event that is also dubbed the “Cincinnati Masters” has been held since 1899 and is the oldest U.S. based tennis tournament. Round of 64 play begins Monday with the finals set to conclude the tournament on Sunday.