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Novak Djokovic to play at French Open regardless of vaccination status

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Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic will play in French Open. Photo/Foreign Policy

World No.1 Novak Djokovic will defend his title at the French Open 2022 regardless of his COVID-19 vaccination status.

Thus, he will feature prominently at Roland Garros ready for action after a failed attempt to defend his Australian Open title in Melbourne this year.

Due to visa and non-vaccination difficulties, Djokovic was unable to play in Australia’s season-opening Grand Slam.

Djokovic to Play in French Open

Despite the fact that the French government has mandated the use of vaccine passports and President Emmanuel Macron is a major proponent of vaccination.

It doesn’t appear that the French government will follow the same guidelines as Australia.

People who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last six months can now use vaccine passports in Europe. Since the Serbian returned a positive PCR in December, he can travel to the country until June without being vaccinated.

This is the perfect timing for the 34-year-old as the French Open begins on May 22.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic will play in the French Open. Photo/Axios

What Did Marian Vadja Say About Novak Djokovic’s Deportation?

Djokovic’s coach Marian Vajda has admitted that the Australian Open saga has affected the six-time Wimbledon champion. However, he insists that he will return to the Grand Slam circuit victorious.

Vadja said he is yet to understand why Djokovic was ill-treated by the Australian government.

He said this was an “unhealthy and unjust decision based on the assumption that Djokovic could do or influence something that has not yet happened”.

Following what happened in Australia, Vadja is worried that it will hurt Djokovic for a long time. However, he is optimistic that Djokovic will triumph nevertheless.

Novak Djokovic Australian Visa Cancellation

Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke cancelled Djokovic’s visa a fortnight ago after the court reinstated it and ordered him to be freed from detention.

The world No.1 said that he was unhappy with the attention of the past few weeks being focused on him.

The visa cancellation was upheld unanimously by a three-judge panel more than 12 days after his arrival to Melbourne, Australia.

The controversy surrounding Djokovic’s vaccination status began when his visa was cancelled after his arrival in Australia for the first time in early January.

Why Was Novak Djokovic Detained in Australia?

Following a six-hour standoff at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was issued his marching orders by Border Officials.

His attorneys said he flew to Australia after being granted a COVID-19 exemption. This made him eligible to compete in the tournament before his visa was abruptly revoked.

Djokovic was detained at a government-operated hotel, despite his pleas to be moved to a more luxurious location with a tennis court. His plea to have his private chef prepare vegan meals was denied by Border officials.

His legal team moved to court and Judge Antony Keller reinstated his visa and ordered he be freed.

However, Keller said the final say was with Hawke who said that his office scrutinized the issue sufficiently before cancelling Djokovic’s visa.


Government lawyers argued that Djokovic poses an “overwhelming risk” to the general public. They say that his decision to attend tennis activities while infected with Covid show recklessness.

In a unanimous decision, Chief Justice James Allsop and Justices Anthony Besanko and David O’Callaghan determined that Djokovic did not have sufficient grounds to challenge Hawke’s deportation order.

Justice Allsop had previously stated that he understood Djokovic may be viewed as “an iconic sports player who is providing an example that is not ideal to be followed.”

Novak Djokovic Australian Open Ban

Novak Djokovic was denied entry into Australia over visa mix up.

Novak Djokovic was denied entry into Australia over visa mix up.

Djokovic faces a three-year ban from the Australian Open after being barred from entering the country due to disciplinary action.

Djokovic violated the country’s stringent Migration Act which warranted the Australian government to revoke his visa for the next three years ‘except in specific circumstances.’

The Serbian left Australia on January 16 back home after losing an appeal to be allowed to play in the Australian Open. His bid to play hit a snag especially due to his unvaccinated status against coronavirus.

Did Novak Djokovic’s Deportation Affect His Sponsorship?

Lacoste, Djokovic’s main sponsor, said they would meet with the tennis star to discuss the aftermath of the Australian Open.

The sportswear company in a statement said that with his participation in the Australian Open no longer conceivable, they would contact him.

Nevertheless, Djokovic got a heroic welcome upon his return to Serbia after deportation. Scores of fans thronged the airport at Belgrade after chanting his name while others had banners with positive inscriptions.

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