France's Rule Change Is Good News for Djokovic

Unvaxxed tennis star should be able to defend his French Open title in May
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2022 12:20 PM CST
France's Rule Change Is Good News for Djokovic
Serbia's Novak Djokovic serves to Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely during a match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Feb. 24, 2022.   (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

(Newser) – It looks like Novak Djokovic will be to able to play in the French Open after all. The tennis star, who missed out on the Australian Open because he is unvaccinated against COVID-19, has said he would give up more opportunities to match Rafael Nadal's record 21 Grand Slam titles rather than get vaccinated. As France currently bars unvaccinated travellers, it was thought he would be absent for the French Open in May. But those protocols are now to be lifted March 14, per CBS Sports.

"We will suspend the application of the vaccination pass wherever it applies," French Prime Minister Jean Castex said Thursday, per the Guardian. That clears 34-year-old Djokovic to defend his title at Roland Garros in the tournament kicking off May 22. He will also be eligible to play at next month's Monte Carlo Masters. He made his 2022 debut at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last week, losing in the quarterfinals. That meant he fell to No. 2 in men's singles tennis rankings behind Daniil Medvedev of Russia. Under current restrictions, he is still barred from the US. (Read more Novak Djokovic stories.)

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