Days after the All England Lawn Tennis Club declared the rule against the players of Russia and Belarus, it announced another rule. The tournament is now open to the players who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 such as Novak Djokovic.
About a week ago, the Wimbledon Championship organizers imposed a tough ban against the Russian and Belarusian players owing to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the support of the country Belarus for it. This decision came as a huge blow for the top-ranked players of two countries- – Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
What does the permit mean for Novak Djokovic?
The chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Sally Bolton spoke about the rule in a recent press conference.
“The requirement set out by the government to enter the UK does not include mandatory vaccination. Therefore, while it is of course encouraged, it is not a condition of entry,” stated Sally Bolton.
For Djokovic on the other hand, this is definitely good news. Novak was not allowed to take part in the Australian Open Grand-Slam earlier this year. Although the Serbian athlete was initially allowed despite his unvaccinated status, at the later court hearings the permission was revoked. Furthermore, the Government of Australia cancelled the World No.1’s visa and deported him for three years from the country.
The Australian Open Debacle opened up more questions with respect to the participation of Novak Djokovic in further tournaments of the year. Novak Djokovic had to pull out of the Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open for the same reason as the USA imposed the Covid protocols on the players as well.
However, Novak did take part in the Dubai Tennis Championships and Monte Carlo Masters event that followed. Djokovic also played the Serbia Open that recently ended and emerged as the runner-up of the clay-court tourney.
For a long time, the participation of Novak Djokovic at the Roland Garros French Open was in question considering the vaccine mandate in the country. Nevertheless, the French government has repealed its vaccine compulsion rule. This allows players including Djokovic who are unvaccinated to play the clay-court Grand-Slam title.
While the French Open is set to kick-off on 22nd May, the Wimbledon Championship will commence on 27th June. Moreover, Novak Djokovic will look forward to defending both of these titles this year.