Organisers said today that Novak Djokovic will be allowed to play at the French Open even if he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 as long as the coronavirus situation in France remains stable.
Russian tennis players, including top-ranked Daniil Medvedev, will also be admitted to play in the tournament but as neutral athletes because of the war started by their country against neighbouring Ukraine.
Organisers said there is nothing at the moment preventing Djokovic from defending his title at the clay-court Grand Slam. This week France lifted measures requiring the need to wear face masks in most settings and allowing people who aren’t vaccinated back into restaurants, sports arenas and other venues.
Djokovic was deported from Australia in January after a legal battle over whether he should be allowed to enter the country, forcing him to miss the Australian Open. He said last month that he was willing to miss upcoming Grand Slam tournaments as well if they required him to get vaccinated.
Djokovic has won the French Open twice and has a total of 20 major titles, one short of the record held by Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard won this year’s Australian Open.
French Tennis Federation President, Gilles Moretton said that although Djokovic was now free to play, French authorities might be forced to introduce new restrictions if the virus situation deteriorates before the tournament starts on 22nd May.