Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

‘First rule is to be vaccinated’ – Masters director warns Novak Djokovic to ‘meet requirements’

Monte Carlo Masters director Zeljko Franulovic has said he is willing to “welcome Novak Djokovic with open arms,” so long as he is vaccinated.

Following his deportation just one day before the Australian Open, 20-time Grand Slam ace Djokovic missed the chance to win a record-breaking 21st Slam title, a feat which Slam rival Rafael Nadal would claim instead.

As Djokovic fought the first termination of his medical exemption visa in court, during the legal proceedings it was revealed that he was unvaccinated against Covid-19.

His involvement at future Slams, namely the French Open and Wimbledon, had also been placed under considerable doubt. Although as restrictions begin to ease he may be allowed to compete unvaccinated.

Although, all of this is subject to change considering the rapidly changing nature of the virus.

As a result, his biographer indicated that he believes Djokovic will be getting vaccinated despite previously speaking out against vaccine mandates.

Monte Carlo Masters chief Franulovic said “if he meets the heath requirements of the French government, we will be happy to host him.

“He has to be in order. For the moment, as far as I know, he is not vaccinated. As soon as he is in good health with respect to government regulations, we will welcome him with open arms.

Similarly, Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) chairman Andrea Gaudenzi wants Djokovic to compete in the best events and hopes to leave the Covid-19 pandemic as a thing of the past.

Gaudenzi said “Novak has already planned to play in Dubai, so of course this is good news.

“We want to see Novak happy and healthy, and we want to see him play. We want the best players for the best tournaments and Monte Carlo is one of them. It’s one of the most important events on the calendar.

“Hopefully, we’ll get a full house. We hope to leave Covid behind us as soon as possible.

“Honestly, we are hearing good news. We may be seeing the end of the tunnel. We’re moving in the right direction to put this terrible pandemic behind us.”

Djokovic will compete at the Dubai Tennis Championships, a tournament that doesn’t require vaccination. He has also been named on the Indian Wells entry list but will have to be vaccinated to compete, as per US government rules.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.