by Julian Pretota
PARIS (Reuters) – French Open organizers said on Wednesday that Novak Djokovic will be allowed to defend his title in the tournament, the first without any Covid-19-related restrictions since the start of the two-year pandemic. There is bound to be a Grand Slam. First.
France on Monday lifted restrictions on almost all public places except hospitals, nursing homes and public transport, meaning the Roland Garros complex must operate at full capacity, Djokovic is in court.
“The way things are, nothing can stop Djokovic from attending the French Open,” tournament director Emilie Mauresmo said at a news conference on Wednesday.
The 20-time Grand Slam tournament champion was unable to defend his Australian Open title in January after being expelled from the country in a major controversy after initially admitted to the tournament for not being vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The 34-year-old has also been ruled out of this month’s ATP 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami because he cannot enter the United States without proof of vaccination.
While it is not required to enter any sporting event in France or the country, French Tennis Federation (FFT) president Gilles Moreton has warned that things could change before Roland Garros starts on May 22.
“There is still a virus spreading and we have to be vigilant. If things happen again and the government takes new measures, we will not be taken out of these measures”, he explained.
((Rio de Janeiro newsroom translation))
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