Novak Djokovic's Woes Continue as US Open Set to Become 3rd Grand Slam to Bar Unvaccinated Players
French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu had earlier welcomed Djokovic to play in the clay tournament, which will take place in May-June, but the situation has taken a turn in the wake of Djokovic losing his Australian Open court battle.
The Sports Ministry in Paris has now come up with a fresh set of guidelines, declaring that only vaxxed athletes will be allowed to attend sporting events, including Roland Garros.
Sunday's announcement by the French authorities is already showing ripple effects as the US Open is on course to follow the Australian Open and Roland Garros' leads in blocking unvaccinated players from competing in the tournament, British newspapers The Sun and The Daily Mail said on Tuesday.
As it stands right now, the only Grand Slam tournament Djokovic can play this year is Wimbledon. Even if he was granted a waiver to enter the US, New York prohibits unvaccinated athletes from competing in sporting events in the state (see: Irving, Kyrie). https://t.co/8l6u2yx4T6— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) January 17, 2022
Apart from the US Open, which is set to make COVID-19 jabs compulsory for participating athletes, Djokovic could miss out on two other high-profile tournaments. Both Indian Wells and the Miami Masters – scheduled to be hosted in the US in the spring – are set to announce a mandatory double-jabbed policy for players.
Djokovic's options are becoming more limited with each passing day; Wimbledon is now the only Grand Slam potentially left open to him.
The All England Club, the parent body of Wimbledon, recently said that while it was premature to make any sort of announcement on the subject of unvaccinated players, it said it will follow the government's advice.