‘We’d love to have him’ – Tournament director hopes Novak Djokovic can overcome vaccine and travel troubles
Miami Open chief James Blake would “love” to have Novak Djokovic compete at the Miami Open, but feels it is all “a matter of him figuring out how to navigate this time.”
World number one Djokovic has plunged his involvement at a number of tournaments into considerable doubt after it was revealed that he is unvaccinated against Covid-19.
Despite being granted a medical exemption to play at the Australian Open, Djokovic had his exemption and visa cancelled not once, but twice and was deported from Australia just one day before the first Grand Slam of the season got underway.
Whilst Djokovic fought the initial decision in court and had the cancellation overturned, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke took the executive decision to supersede the court’s ruling and deport the Serbian.
Djokovic is competing against fellow 20-time Slam legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to end his career as the most successful male player of all time.
However, with Covid rules and guidelines constantly changing Djokovic may face a struggle to do so if he remains unvaccinated.
His involvement at this year’s French Open has already been called into question once after it was announced that French parliament voted to approve vaccine passports that will require proof of vaccination in order to enter public spaces, this would include Roland Garros.
However, it is now believed he may be able to compete at Roland Garros as a prior Covid infection in the past six months means he would be eligible for an exemption. Although, this illustrates the rapidly changing nature of the situation.
Speaking with the Miami Herald, Blake said “we’d love to have him, he’s one of the greatest champions we’ve ever had in the sport.
“I believe he will go down as the greatest champion. He still got quite a few more years of being at or near the top of the game. It’s a matter of him figuring out how to navigate this time, the protocols, what’s safe, what isn’t safe?”
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