Novak Djokovic Australian Open 2022

It will be ‘very difficult’ for Novak Djokovic to continue career unvaccinated, claims Henman

Tim Henman believes it will be challenging for Novak Djokovic to travel the world unvaccinated and slammed his deportation as “a shambles” with “no winners.”

World number one Djokovic’s chances of winning a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam were dealt a blow when he was deported just one day before the Australian Open.

Djokovic was granted a medical exemption but had his visa cancelled not once, but twice. He successfully had the decision overturned in court, but Immigration Minister Alex Hawke took the executive decision to supersede the court and cancel the visa again.

Similarly, Djokovic’s French Open participation was also engulfed in considerable doubt after the French Government voted to approve vaccine passes. French President Emmanuel Macron has taken a strict stance against those who are anti-vaccine.

Whilst it was suggested that no exemptions would be provided, a recent update may indicate that people who have recovered from a Covid-19 infection in the past six months.

Moreover, Djokovic may be allowed to compete at Wimbledon as current rules in England permit unvaccinated visitors although they are required to quarantine for ten days. However, all of these rules and regulations will be subject to change.

Speaking on the Eurosport Cube, former British number one Henman said “when you reflect on the Djokovic fiasco, it was a shambles, really. There were no winners. It wasn’t good for Tennis Australia, I don’t think it reflected well on the government.

“Obviously Djokovic not being able to play in the Australian Open, it’s disappointing for the event, the fans and Djokovic himself. Fingers crossed that we don’t have to witness something like that in the future.

“What does Djokovic do next? Because it would seem very difficult for him to continue with his professional career if he’s not double vaccinated, it would seem that he’s going to be pretty limited with the countries that he can get into.

“I would emphasise, it’s absolutely his prerogative, whether any individual wants to get vaccinated or not is his or her decision, but certainly as a tennis fan and seeing what Djokovic has been able to achieve on the court, I very much hope we see him back competing soon.”

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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.