Novak Djokovic’s vaccination status will complicate his quest for 21e This season’s Grand Slam title, a title that would put him on par with Rafael Nadal in terms of major slam victories. Under current rules, it would be difficult for the world number one to play Roland Garros and the US Open.
Thousands of miles away from Melbourne, the Serbian watched his Spanish opponent and is the first man to win with the number 21e Grand Slam Cup, after an epic battle with Russian Daniil Medvedev (the second racket in the world), Sunday morning Quebec time.
Prior to the tournament, Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer each held 20 major titles. An astrological figure that demonstrates her domination of world tennis over the past two decades.
At the age of 34, the youngest in the group tended to tie-break the Australian Open, but grabbed the headlines due to his unvaccinated status, which prevented him from entering the country.
Djokovic was expelled from Australia shortly before the tournament began, after an epic in court and was arrested twice.
Tightening the rules in France
The race for future generations is complicated for the Joker. France will tighten its border rules on the unvaccinated on February 15, which would prevent Djokovic from playing Roland Garros in May. The Serbian is the defending champion in Paris.
In the US, current regulations will prevent him from participating in the US Open at the end of August.
This leaves Wimbledon, which was played in London at the end of June. The Serbs can enter the UK, even if they are not vaccinated, but the championship could prevent their defending champion from walking their own prestigious ground.
Back to Dubai
Beyond the major tournaments, what events will Djokovic be able to play in this season? For now, we know he will be denied entry to Canada as well. If nothing changes by August, we won’t see Djoko at the National Bank Open in Montreal.
The 86-year-old ATP champ did not play this year. He is expected to return to Dubai at the end of February. Vaccination is not mandatory in the UAE.
The world’s leading player will then have to skip the two events that will take place in the US in March: the Indian Wells and the Miami Masters, two tournaments considered the most popular after the four Grand Slam rounds.
An absence disappoints the hopes of former American player Jason Blake, who became director of the Miami Championship. Although he “strongly disagrees with Djokovic’s position on the COVID vaccine,” Blake told the newspaper Miami Herald He would “very much like” to welcome the big star.
First place in the game
After that, it will probably be impossible for him to compete in the Monte Carlo Masters (in France) at the beginning of April, because the “vaccination passport” he benefits from will expire on the day of the semi-finals.
Djokovic is therefore expected to play his second campaign championship at home in mid-April, on the occasion of the Serbia Open, which was held at the… Novak Tennis Center.
This prolonged absence from the courts could benefit his runner-up in the rankings. Medvedev will already see a hole in world number one vanish on February 22, when Djokovic loses the points he earned from his 2021 Australian Open victory.
the rules For other Grand Slam tournaments
Roland Garros, France
The new rules will take effect in France on February 15. Currently, the country is allowing unvaccinated foreigners who have contracted COVID-19 in the past six months to enter its territory. But from mid-February, the period will be reduced to four months. According to documents he submitted in Australia, Novak Djokovic was tested and declared positive for the virus on December 16. Unless he is infected with the coronavirus for the third time in two years by then, or has not been vaccinated, the Serb will be banned from entering France from April 16.
- From June 27 to July 10
At the moment, Djokovic can play at Wimbledon, even if he has not been vaccinated. But the defending champion will have to go through strict rules: he will have to get a negative test two days before he arrives in England, and then go into a 10-day quarantine. During this, he will have to test negative on the second and eighth day. But beware, it is not inconceivable that the All England Club, which surrounds the tournament, may choose to ban access to unvaccinated players.
US Open, United States
- From August 29 to September 11
Travelers entering the United States must now be properly vaccinated against COVID-19, if they are not residing in the United States. In order to be able to play in New York, Djokovic will have to file a medical exemption proving he cannot be vaccinated against the virus (if that is the case). It can also request a humanitarian exemption or emergency exemption from the government, but there is no guarantee that it will be granted.
Sources: The Team, The Washington Post, CBS Sports
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