Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic given French Open and Monte Carlo Masters boost as vaccine restrictions eased

Novak Djokovic may now be allowed to defend his French Open title and compete at the Monte Carlo Masters despite being unvaccinated as France have lifted their Covid-19 passport policy.

20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was deported just one day before the Australian Open got underway over fears he may spark anti-vaccination sentiment if he was allowed to play unvaccinated.

As a result, Slam rival Rafael Nadal stormed his way to the ‘Happy Slam’ title to win a record-breaking 21st Slam title to put him ahead of both Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Moreover, after losing in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships to qualifier Jiri Vesely Djokovic also lost his World number one title to US Open victor Daniil Medvedev, who reached the semi-finals of the Mexican Open.

Despite the near two week long saga, Djokovic reiterated his intention to remain unvaccinated in a share-all interview with the BBC. This means he is now the only unvaccinated player within the ATP’s top 100.

In the interview, the Serbian legend went as far as to say he is willing to sacrifice Grand Slams and other Major tournaments should vaccination be made compulsory for competition.

One major tournament Djokovic is likely to be denied entry into is the upcoming Indian Wells Masters. He had been named on the ‘fifth Grand Slam’s’ entry list but United States regulations restrict unvaccinated travellers.

The next Grand Slam on the tennis agenda is the French Open. During the Australian Open controversy, French Sports Minister Roxana Mărăcineanu revealed Djokovic would be permitted to compete at Roland Garros unvaccinated.

However, these claims were then reversed with the introduction of Covid-19 vaccination passports that required people to provide proof of vaccination in order to enter public spaces.

These vaccine passports will now be lifted from March 14th, leaving Djokovic free to compete unvaccinated without requiring any special conditions or exemptions if no further changes are introduced.

This also means that Djokovic now looks set to compete at next month’s Monte Carlo Masters.

Similarly, Wimbledon also looks to be a possibility as England have adopted extremely lenient measures and restrictions, rescinding most of them entirely.

Although, it is worth noting that all of these updates are subject to change due to the nature of such a rapidly mutating virus.

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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.