World number one Novak Djokovic will be allowed to play in the 2022 French Open after the country brought in new vaccine passport rules.
Novak Djokovic will reportedly be able to defend his French Open title in 2022 regardless of his Covid vaccination status.
The world number one was sensationally deported from Australia after confusion over his visa and exemption status reigned. Djokovic was detained soon after arriving in Melbourne in early January before he was released – and then detained for a second time when medical exemption concerns became apparent.
After his final appeal was rejected out of hand, Djokovic was forced to leave Australia, unable to pursue a 10th Australian Open title and defend his crown at the first Grand Slam of the year. The awkward and humiliating scenario led to suggestions that Djokovic would be banned from the French Open and US Open, too.
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The clay tournament at Roland Garros is set to get underway on 22 May to run until 5 June, and there were reports that Djokovic would be denied entry to France after a recent law change insisting on the necessary use of vaccine passports. President Emmanuel Macron is also holding a tough stance on vaccinations.
However, it now appears the 20-time Grand Slam champion will be allowed to play in France under the new rules.
Per La Gazetta, France’s vaccine passport can be awarded to individuals who have recovered from Covid in the last six months – which would mean Djokovic would be able to enter the country even if he remains unvaccinated after he tested positive in mid-December.
The Serb won the French Open in 2021 – the second time he claimed the title after he won it for the first time in 2016 – when he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas from two sets down in the final. Djokovic defeated 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-final.
Djokovic’s coach, Marian Vajda, recently insisted that the world number one will eventually make a successful return to major tournaments, despite the prospect of his vaccination status affecting his availability.
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“I still don’t understand why they did it to him,” Vajda told Sportklub earlier this week. “It was an unhealthy and unjust decision, based on the assumption that Djokovic could do or influence something that has not yet happened.
“I haven’t communicated with him since he arrived in Belgrade. It is clear that that it hit him mentally, it will hurt him for a long time.
“It will be difficult to get it out of his head. However, I know him very well, Novak is strong, determined and has not yet said the last word in tennis.
“We wrote to each other, we haven’t spoken over the phone. He used his mobile phone a little.
“I can’t imagine how he handled it, it must have been a huge suffering.”