World No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic could miss the French Open due to the stringent entry rules set in place.
Djokovic ended up getting deported from Australia after his unwillingness to get vaccinated. He now has the French Open to look forward to, but even that seems to be in jeopardy.
For participating in the tournament, a player has to follow the COVID-19 guidelines set by the government. Although the French Open initially allowed unvaccinated players to play given they stayed in a bubble, the Spanish Prime Minister said that there is now a vaccine mandate, with proof being a requisite to enter.
As a result, Djokovic could miss the French Open after being forced to miss the Australian Open, meaning his wait for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam could go on for a while.
The tennis star was deported from Australia under dramatic circumstances. The ban lasts for three years, meaning he won’t be seeing the tournament for a while. However, the Australian Prime minister suggested that he could be granted entry under some special circumstances.
“I’m not going to sort of precondition any of that or say anything that would not enable the minister to make the various calls they have to make,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Nine radio, as quoted by Latin Times.
“I mean, it does go over a three-year period, but there is the opportunity for them to return in the right circumstances and that would be considered at the time.”
Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews believes that although the 20-time Grand Slam winner was banned, there could be “compelling” reasons for him to be granted a visa. However, it was not a possibility in the immediate future.
If Djokovic is indeed unable to compete at the French and subsequently the Madrid Open, it would put a major dent into his season. The only way he can evade these hurdles is by taking the jab.