Novak Djokovic Set to Defend Wimbledon Title After Organisers Announce Rules for Unvaccinated Stars

© Sputnik / Alexandar Djorovich / Go to the mediabankNovak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.04.2022
2022 has been a bad year for Novak Djokovic, to say the least. In January, the Serbian superstar was disallowed to participate in the Australian Open due to his vaccination status. Afterwards, he suffered a series of unexpected losses in Dubai, Monte Carlo and Belgrade. However, finally there's some good news for him.
Wimbledon is set to become the second consecutive Grand Slam tournament after the French Open in Paris where Novak Djokovic will be able to defend his title, after the tournament authorities confirmed that players will not require a mandatory vaccination certificate to compete in this year's championships.
On Tuesday, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) officially announced that participants will no longer need to be double vaccinated to take part in this year's event, as the British government hasn't stipulated such rules for entry into the United Kingdom (UK).
Last year, players stayed in a bio-bubble, and were only allowed to reside in designated hotels. Additionally, there were restrictions on their movement as they could only move from the tournament site to the bio-secured environment of their hotel room.
But no such restrictions will be in place at SW19 this year, as players have been permitted to rent their own homes and can arrive at the venue on their own, unlike in 2021, when the AELTC, had arranged for their transport in fully sanitised cars.
The end of such restrictions is kind of a blessing in disguise for Djokovic, who seems to have struggled with form ever since his controversial deportation from Australia earlier in the year.
Djokovic was initially allowed to compete in the Australian Open after he was granted medical exemption by the tournament's authorities after he claimed to have tested positive for Coronavirus in December.
But his visa was revoked by the nation's Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who used his special powers.
Djokovic challenged the decision in court - while he won a reprieve initially, the 34-year-old eventually lost the legal battle as he was sent back from Australia.
The Australian government's decision cost him dearly, as not only was he unable to compete in the prestigious competition in Melbourne, but in his absence, arch-rival Rafael Nadal became the first man to win 21 Grand Slam titles.
Coming back to Wimbledon, Djokovic has lifted the trophy at the hallowed lawns of the Centre Court five times in his illustrious career and has dominated the grass court Slam in the past decade.
This year, he will be eyeing his fourth consecutive title, having won the tournament in each of the previous three years in 2018, 2019, and 2021. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wimbledon is set to commence in London on 27 June.
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