Tennis Novak Djokovic Could Be Barred From French, Spanish Opens As Well, Say Officials

Tennis Novak Djokovic Could Be Barred From French, Spanish Opens As Well, Say Officials

Tennis

Just days after missing the Australian Open and being deported from Australia because he was unvaccinated, Novak Djokovic, found out he may be barred from the next Grand Slam tournament on the tennis calendar, as well.

A new vaccine pass law was approved France’s parliament on Sunday. It will require proof of vaccination to enter public buildings including sports venues, restaurants, cafes and cinemas. According to ESPN, the country’s Sports Ministry said Monday there would be no exemptions allowed, even if it meant the world’s No. 1 tennis player missing the French Open.

“The rule is simple. The vaccine pass will be imposed, as soon as the law is promulgated, in establishments that were already subject to the health pass,” a statement from the ministry read.

“This will apply to everyone who is a spectator or a professional sportsperson. And this until further notice.”

There was a ray of hope for Djokovic, however, as he chases his 21st Grand Slam title.

“Now, as far as Roland Garros is concerned, it’s in May. The situation may change between now and then and we hope that it will be more favourable,” continued the statement. “So we’ll see, but clearly there’s no exemption.”

And it’s not just the French Open.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said today that Djokovic would have to follow his country’s Covid rules to participate in the Madrid Open in April.

“The rules are there to comply with and no one is above the rules,” said Sanchez according to CNN.

Spain currently requires visitors to show proof of full vaccination, a recent PCR negative test within 72 hours before arrival or a certificate of having recovered from Covid-19, according to its health ministry.

The two final Grand Slam tournaments of 2022, Wimbledon in late June and the U.S. Open in late August, could also be problematic for Djokovic.

Per ESPN: “England has allowed exemptions from various coronavirus regulations for visiting athletes, if they remain at their accommodation when not competing or training. The U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the US Open, has said it will follow government rules on vaccination status.”

Those rules currently require that all participants in professional sporting events be vaccinated, as Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving can attest.

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