Novak Djokovic Wimbledon 2021

Novak Djokovic will be allowed to compete at Wimbledon unvaccinated, says Tim Henman

Tim Henman believes Novak Djokovic will be allowed to compete at Wimbledon unvaccinated and thinks his decision to remain unvaccinated “speaks volumes of his courage, conviction and belief.”

Following his deportation from Australia, Djokovic told the BBC that he will remain unvaccinated against Covid-19 and is willing to “sacrifice Grand Slams” if vaccines are made mandatory for competition.

As such, doubt has been cast over his participation at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, as well as the upcoming Indian Wells Masters in March.

20-time Slam champion Djokovic was named on the Indian Wells entry list but could be refused entry as non-US citizens are currently required to be fully vaccinated in order to enter the country via air travel.

Similarly, Djokovic’s involvement at Roland Garros has already been placed under considerable doubt after French parliament voted to pass vaccination passports in order to enter public spaces. However, it is believed these will be revoked before the French Open in May.

One event where Djokovic may be hopeful of competing is Wimbledon as England don’t currently require foreign travellers to be vaccinated. Should such a lenient approach continue until June, the World number one would be allowed to compete.

When asked by BBC Radio Four whether he felt Djokovic’s Wimbledon participation was doubtful, All England Club Committee member Henman said “I don’t think so.

“To get into the United Kingdom at the moment, those are the guidelines the Championship will be following at this stage. At this moment in time [participation rules are] going to be government-led.”

Whilst many have criticised Djokovic’s decision and have urged him to get vaccinated, Henman believes the decision “speaks volumes of his courage.

“I do understand his concerns. I would reiterate it is absolutely his prerogative to have the vaccine or not.

“As a former player and a tennis fan, it was probably not what I wanted to hear in that interview, but probably what I expected.

“As he freely admitted, he is going to be severely restricted as to where he can travel to and therefore play without being vaccinated.

“By taking himself out of the chance to compete in Grand Slams he is certainly jeopardising his chances of being the greatest male player of all time and I think that speaks volumes of his courage, conviction and belief that this is what is best for him.

“You would have thought that very little is going to sway his opinion.”

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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.