After France insisted on a covid pass preventing the unvaccinated from all sporting arenas, Novak Djokovic could face further difficulty at the upcoming Grand Slam.
Banned from French Open
The next Grand Slam on the tennis calendar is the French Open, which takes place in May, and Djokovic was supposed to play without incident – but the new Covid Pass has changed things.
By a vote of 215 to 58, France’s lower house approved vaccine legislation that will bar unvaccinated people from restaurants, sports arenas, and other public places. It will apply to anyone over the age of 16, and it will go into effect soon. Djokovic’s participation in Roland Garros is immediately jeopardized.
‘Djokovic’s behavior was irresponsible,’ said Stanislas Guerin, who represents the 17th and 18th arrondissements of Paris. Australia is a sovereign nation with its own set of rules, which must be followed.
News about Djokovic
The announcement comes after Djokovic’s visa was revoked by Australian officials, and he was deported from the nation. He has been barred from entering the nation for three years. After 12 days of legal fighting, Djokovic left Australia late Sunday night after exhausting all alternatives, with the Federal Court’s full bench backing with Australia’s immigration minister Alex Hawke’s decision to reject the visa.
On Sunday evening, he was taken by police to Melbourne Airport, where he took an Emirates flight to Dubai, where he arrived on Monday, before returning to Serbia, where he was picked up at the airport by his brother Djordje.
The Serbian broke his silence on Sunday, telling reporters: ‘I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open.
What ATP have to Say
The ATP said it also ‘strongly recommend vaccination to all players.’ The decision has largely been met with approval, with former British No 1 Tim Henman stating the decision displayed the importance of getting the vaccine, though he suggested the saga was a ‘bad look for everyone’.
Rafael Nadal, meanwhile, declined to criticize Djokovic, claiming that the Australian Open would be worse off without him. Meanwhile, Nemanja Matic, a fellow Serbian and Manchester United midfielder has criticized his countryman’s treatment.
‘Your glory and their shame will last forever,’ Matic wrote on social media. A shot of Djokovic winning the Australian Open accompanied his comment.
Djokovic is the current Roland Garros winner, having won the French Open twice. The 34-year-old is vying for his 21st Grand Slam victory and the all-time title record. On 20, he is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.