Djokovic cleared to play in French Open

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Twenty-time Grand Slam tennis champion Novak Djokovic has been cleared to play in May’s French Open despite having not received a COVID-19 vaccination, though officials noted that conditions could change given the ongoing pandemic.

“As things stand, nothing stands in the way of Djokovic taking part in the French Open,” Amelie Mauresmo, the tournament director of Roland-Garros, said on Wednesday during a news conference, ESPN reported.

But French Tennis Federation President Gilles Moretton said that the lingering virus could change plans ahead of the tournament.

“There’s still a virus circulating, and we have to be cautious,” Moretton said, according to the sports network. “If things were to happen again and the government would take new measures, we would not be excluded from these measures.”

Djokovic said earlier this month that he would not be able to compete in several U.S. competitions given existing COVID-19 restrictions, but in France, public spaces — not including public transit, nursing homes and hospitals — had their restrictions lifted earlier this week, ESPN noted.

That would mean there would be no capacity limits to attend the French Open, and it would allow the Serbian star to compete in the first Grand Slam since he was unable to play in the Australia Open amid COVID-19 protocols.

Djokovic told the BBC in an interview last month that he would skip the French Open and Wimbledon if either required proof of vaccination.

“I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body,” Djokovic told the BBC, noting he was “never against vaccination” and had had vaccines as a kid.

Tags COVID-19 French Open Novak Djokovic Tennis

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