Novak Djokovic is out of the Australian Open. But what about the other grand slams?

Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday night after losing his legal challenge to remain in the country and compete in the Australian Open, which begins today.

The end of a nearly two-week-long saga that captured worldwide attention means the world’s top-ranked men’s tennis player will not get the chance to win a record 21st career grand slam men’s singles title in an event he has won nine times.

Djokovic remains tied with Rafael Nadal (who is competing in Melbourne) and Roger Federer (who is not because of a knee injury) with 20 career grand slam singles titles, and he will have to wait several months for his next opportunity.

Novak Djokovic leaving Melbourne’s Park Hotel immigration detention on Sunday. Credit:Luis Ascui

If Djokovic remains unvaccinated, will he face similar challenges at the year’s other grand slam events? Here is what to know about the policies in place for the other major tournaments and how Djokovic might be affected.

French Open

On January 7, French sports minister Roxane Maracineanu said Djokovic would be allowed to play at the French Open even if he were not vaccinated, because the country still allows unvaccinated visitors to enter, albeit with tougher restrictions.

“He would not follow the same organisational arrangements as those who are vaccinated,” Maracineanu told FranceInfo radio. “But he will nonetheless be able to compete [at Roland Garros] because the protocols, the health bubble, allows it.”

Nonetheless, the French have become increasingly frustrated with people who will not get vaccinated, and President Emmanuel Macron said on January 4 that he wants to make daily life more inconvenient for unvaccinated residents.

“I am not for pissing off the French … however, the unvaccinated, I really want to piss them off,” he said in an interview published in the French newspaper Le Parisien. “I’m not going to throw [the unvaccinated] in prison. I’m not going to get them vaccinated by force. … We put pressure on the unvaccinated by limiting their access to social activities as much as possible.”

Djokovic lets out a scream during his men’s singles semi-final at Wimbledon in 2019.Credit:Pool/AP Photo

Unvaccinated visitors to France must present a compelling reason for their travel and provide evidence of a negative coronavirus test taken less than 48 hours before departure. They also must test again upon arrival, quarantine for at least a week, and test again at the end of their quarantine.

This year’s French Open begins May 22. Djokovic is the defending champion and has won the tournament twice.


If Djokovic wishes to travel to England this summer to play at Wimbledon as an unvaccinated person, he will have to take a coronavirus test two days before travelling to the country, quarantine for 10 days, and take more coronavirus tests on the second and eighth days of his quarantine.

Those are the travel rules for foreign visitors set by the British government. It remains to be seen whether the All England club will set its own requirements for participation in the tournament, or merely follow the government guidance.

Djokovic has six Wimbledon titles and won last year’s tournament. This year’s event starts June 27.

US Open

Djokovic’s unvaccinated status could be problematic when it comes time for the US Open, a tournament he has won three times. Visitors to the United States must be fully vaccinated if not a US citizen, US national, lawful permanent resident, or travelling to the United States on an immigrant visa.

There are exceptions to this rule, but most of them would not seem to apply to Djokovic. He could claim to have a documented medical contraindication to receiving a coronavirus vaccine or could seek a humanitarian or emergency exception from the US government.

People from countries that have limited coronavirus vaccine availability also may seek an exception to the vaccination requirement, but Djokovic’s home nation of Serbia is not on the list of such countries (nearly all of them are in Africa).

– Washington Post

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