Tennis

Novak Djokovic free to play at French Open despite unvaccinated status 

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic playing at the French Open in the past. Photo/Sporting news
  • Novak Djokovic is free to defend his French Open title, according to Roland Garros officials
  • Djokovic is yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19
  • He missed the Indian Wells 2022 tournament for this, as well as the Australian Open 2022

French Open organizers have cleared Novak Djokovic to play at Roland Garros this year.

The tournament’s officials said nothing stands in Djokovic’s way as he seeks to defend his French Open title.

Amelie Mauresmo, the Roland Garros Tournament Director, issued a way forward on this subject after Djokovic failed to make it to the Indian Wells.

“As things stand, nothing stands in the way of Djokovic taking part in the French Open,” Mauresmo said according to Tennis365.

This is a major reprieve for Djokovic as France recently adopted strict COVID-19 vaccination rules. Yet, Djokovic insists he is not yet ready for a jab.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic. Photo/Sky Sports

Gilles Moretton, the president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), has cautioned that things could change during this year’s clay-court Grand Slam running from May 22 to June 5.

He said coronavirus is still circulating which is why the French government won’t hesitate to institute tough measures to tackle it during the tournament.

Djokovic withdrew from the Indian Wells, and Miami Open last week.

The Serbian withdrew from Master 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami citing tough Covid-19 vaccination rules.

He was selected in the Indian Wells draw despite uncertainties surrounding his attendance in the competition. Djokovic was included in the draw since he was on the official entry list, according to the event organizers.

“While I was automatically listed in the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel. The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won’t be able to play in the US. Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments.”

“As of today, not. I can’t go, can’t enter the United States,” he said in an interview. “As of today, I’m not able to play, but let’s see what happens. I mean, maybe things change in the next few weeks,” tennis 365 quotes him.

Vaccination requirements for entry into the United States are rigid. While there were rumblings that they may be modified in the coming weeks, Djokovic’s chances of entering the US were slim.

“On top of that, Indian Wells officials announced that everyone on-site at their tournament will need to be properly vaccinated against Covid-19.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic visa remains cancelled. Photo/Tennis Australia Open

Speaking recently to BBC in a wide-ranging interview, Djokovic said that as far as immunization goes, he is not opposed to it. However, he won’t hesitate to walk away from championships if he is forced to get the Covid-19 vaccination.

He remarked that all he has done is fight for freedom of what goes to his body.

“I was never against vaccination, but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body,” says Djokovic.

He was resolute that he will not defend his Wimbledon and French Open titles this season if he is forced to get vaccinated.

The 20-time Grand Slam Champion explains that everyone must have a right to choose what they feel is appropriate for them.

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