Djokovic gets French Open boost after vaccine rule change
Novak Djokovic is set to play at Roland Garros after France moved to suspend its Covid-19 vaccine pass requirements
Weeks after his Australian Open nightmare, world number two Novak Djokovic looks set to have a clear path to compete at the French Open, as well as other tournaments in France, after the country moved to suspend its Covid-19 vaccine pass requirements.
Djokovic was central to a media maelstrom earlier this year when he was ultimately deported from Australia after previously having been handed a vaccine exemption to defend his crown Down Under, and there were concerns that similar requirements would impact the remainder of the Serbian star’s 2022 season.
But it now looks that his return to the ATP Tour will see him compete at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters next month, as well as the French Open in May where he is the defending champion, after France announced the suspension of the vaccine requirement from March 14.
“The situation is improving thanks to our collective efforts. The conditions are met for a new phase of easing of measures. From Monday March 14th, we will suspend the application of the vaccination pass wherever it applies,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said.
This means that, along with Wimbledon potentially allowing unvaccinated players, Djokovic should have at least two further opportunities to add to his record of 20 Grand Slam wins and catch the total of Rafael Nadal, the Australian Open winner who now has 21 victories in his career.
However, Djokovic’s appearance at the US Open, as well as the other tournaments in the United States, remains in doubt due to rules forbidding non-vaccinated people from entering the country.
It is already confirmed that Djokovic will miss both Masters 1000 events in the United States this month at Indian Wells and Miami.
Djokovic, who was recently overtaken by Russia’s Daniil Medvedev at the top spot in the world rankings, made his return to tournament tennis last week in Dubai.
It was also confirmed this week that Djokovic has split from his longtime coach, Marian Vajda.
The Serb won last year’s French Open, bypassing Nadal in the semi-finals before beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.