Novak Djokovic sent threat by Monte Carlo Masters chief as Covid uncertainty goes on

Novak Djokovic: Adam Hills shares opinion on tennis star

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Novak Djokovic’s participation at the Monte Carlo Masters has been placed in jeopardy by the tournament’s director amid his unvaccinated status. With his deportation from Australia now behind him, the world number one will play the Dubai Tennis Championships starting on Monday, his first tournament of the year.

Players who have not been jabbed are allowed to play in the event, which Djokovic has won on five occasions.

The Serbian will fancy his chances of grabbing another title in the middle east, but his schedule beyond the ATP 500 event is unclear.

France is currently allowing only those who have been vaccinated to enter sports venues.

While it is possible the rules could change before the Monte Carlo Masters starts in April, tournament director Zeljko Franulovic is uncertain if the 34-year-old will be able to participate.

He may also miss the first ATP 1000 event of the season in Indian Wells as the US requires non-US citizens to be fully protected against Covid.

“If he meets the health requirements of the French government, we will be happy to host him,” said Franulovic.

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“He has to be in order. For the moment, as far as I know, he is not vaccinated. As soon as he is in good health with respect to government regulations, we will welcome him with open arms.”

On the other hand, ATP President Andrea Gaudenz is hopeful of seeing the 20-time grand slam champion grace the hallowed clay of the Monte Carlo Country Club.

“Novak has already planned to play in Dubai, so of course this is good news,” he said.

“We want to see Novak happy and healthy, and we want to see him play. We want the best players for the best tournaments and Monte Carlo is one of them. It’s one of the most important events on the calendar.

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“Hopefully, we’ll get a full house. We hope to leave Covid behind us as soon as possible.

“Honestly, we are hearing good news. We may be seeing the end of the tunnel. We’re moving in the right direction to put this terrible pandemic behind us.”

Djokovic has conquered the Monte Carlo Masters on two occasions, with his last victory coming in 2015.

He is only man to have won every Masters 1000 tournament twice, as well as being one of two men in the open era to have won every grand slam more than once.

The other is Rafael Nadal, who triumphed at last month’s Australian Open to win his 21st major title.

The Spaniard has been confirmed as a participant at next month’s Indian Wells event for the first time since 2019.

He sent a message to the orgnaisers after his entry was announced, which was released on the tournament’s twitter account.

“For me it will be even more special returning this year after missing the tournament in October,” Nadal said. “See you soon in the tennis (and golf) paradise, Indian Wells.”

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