Novak Djokovic may go without a Grand Slam in 2022
After being deported from Australia, new health protocols may also keep the world number one tennis player out of the remaining Grand Slams of the year.
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After his expulsion from Australia, a country where he will not be able to return for three years (although Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he could be allowed to enter the country "under the right circumstances"), and his disqualification from the first Grand Slam of the year, the bad news for Novak Djokovic did not stop there.
Djokovic, who in a statement made on Sunday, Jan. 16, indicated that he was disappointed, but was respectful of the judicial decisions, and also made a call to divert attention away from himself, and on the tournament that has yet to begin.
By not being vaccinated and not knowing if he will be inoculated or not, two other Grand Slams closed the doors to world number one tennis player. The U.S. Open and Wimbledon noted that all players must be vaccinated to participate.
“Irrespective of how this point has been reached, Novak is one of our sport’s greatest champions and his absence from the Australian Open is a loss for the game. We know how turbulent the recent days have been for Novak and how much he wanted to defend his title in Melbourne. We wish him well and look forward to seeing him back on court soon,” read an ATP statement, upon hearing the news of the cancellation of his visa.
The only Grand Slam Djokovic might have been able to participate was the French Open, but new measures have also been put in place to require vaccination. The realization came despite an announcement made days before, in which it was suggested there would be exceptions in the case of athletes who participated in international competitions.
“The vaccination pass has been adopted. As soon as the law is enacted, it will be mandatory to enter public spaces with the full schedule (stadiums, theaters, etc.) for all French or foreign spectators, athletes and professionals,” read the announcement made by the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, through her Twitter account, which warned that entry to sporting events will only be allowed, including players, technical team, judges, journalists and the public, with complete vaccination
With the latest news, it does not seem like Djokovic will be able to overcome his Spanish rivals, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and achieve his 21st Grand Slam title in 2022.
Le pass vaccinal a été adopté. Dès que la loi sera promulguée, il deviendra obligatoire pour entrer dans les ERP déjà soumis au pass sanitaire (stade, théâtre ou salon) pour l’ensemble des spectateurs, des pratiquants, des professionnels français ou étrangers 1/2— Roxana Maracineanu (@RoxaMaracineanu) January 16, 2022
Djokovic, who returned to Serbia after an 11-day legal and diplomatic dispute in Australia, was greeted like a hero in Belgrade upon his arrival on a flight from Dubai, where he had stopped.
The Serbian, who could not defend his champion title in Melbourne, nor will he be able to play there until 2025, will have to reassess his strategy if he does not want to be left out of the game for a long period of time.