Will French COVID Rules Allow Novak Djokovic to Participate in Roland Garros?

© REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during the match against Mitchell Krueger
 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during the match against Mitchell Krueger - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.01.2022
Last Sunday, the world's top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia, robbing him of the chance to be the first man in the sport's history to claim 21 Grand Slams. However, the Serbian star could finally have something to cheer about as the French government announced a new policy for un-vaxxed athletes.
20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic may have been given a new lease of life after reports from France said that the 34-year-old tennis superstar would be allowed to defend his Roland Garros title even if he were to remain unvaccinated.

Rumours have gone wild that Djokovic would be barred from entering France, with Paris making vaccine passports mandatory and President Emmanuel Macron raising the game against vaccine-skeptics.

On Sunday, Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport revealed that France's vaccine passport will also be applicable to those who were infected or have recovered from coronavirus during the six-month period, in the run-up to the prestigious Clay Slam in Paris.

The regulations mean Djokovic is eligible to compete in the country as he had tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-December.

According to the publication, an unvaccinated Djokovic would have little difficulty travelling to France until the middle of June under the new rules in France.

The French Open starts on 22 May and ends on 5 June.

Djokovic won his second Roland Garros title last year as he became the first man since 1969 to win each of the four Grand Slams at least twice after upsetting 'King of Clay' and pre-tournament favourite Rafael Nadal in the semis. The Belgrade-born athlete subsequently defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in a five-set thriller in the final.

Rod Laver is the only other men's player to clinch the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open titles two times during his career. The Australian clinched all four for the first time in 1962 and repeated the feat seven years later.
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