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Free! Free at last! That’s how tennis superstar Novak Djokovic must be feeling now that he has been cleared to play in this spring’s French Open. Djokovic’s status for the Open had been up in the air because he is unvaccinated, but on Wednesday, organizers gave Djokovic the green light.
“At this stage, there is nothing to stop him returning to the courts,” Amelie Mauresmo, the French Open’s director told media members.
Just last week, Djokovic was forced to pull out of the Indian Wells and Miami ATP Masters 1000 tournaments because of CDC mandates and travel restrictions placed on those who are unvaccinated.
French Open organisers said today that Novak Djokovic will be allowed to defend his title at this year's tournament under current plans to stage it without any Covid-19 related restrictions.
— Femi Obong-Daniels (@FemiCoolfm) March 16, 2022
The French Open, which begins May 22nd, could be the first Grand Slam without any COVID-restrictions since the pandemic commenced more than two years ago. France has already lifted nearly all of its COVID mandates, allowing nearly all residents to ditch the masks and enter public restaurants, arenas and other settings without proof of vaccination.
“Today, there is a little virus that is going around. We are quite confident that the lights are green, but we are all cautious about what has happened over the last two years,” remarked Gilles Moretton, president of the French Tennis Federation.
Though he’s already missed this year’s Australian Open and will likely miss other tournaments in the U.S., Djokovic has firmly remained unvaccinated. He’s stated on numerous occasions that he is ready and willing to miss any tournaments, including Grand Slams, that require a COVID vaccination.
But for now, he’s finally free to get a shot — a shot at defending his French Open title.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF