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“Is it still about sport” Novak Djokovic’s coach Marian Vajda questions the French Open for their compulsory vaccination policy

Novak Djokovic's coach Marijan Vajda lashes out on French Open authorities for announcing compulsory vaccination for players.

Marian Vajda and Novak Djokovic

The wound of deportation from Australia was not even healed and Novak Djokovic has received another blow. With the Australian government making it clear way back in 2021 that vaccination will be compulsory to enter the country for players wishing to participate in the 2022 Australian Open, Djokovic’s ‘gutsy approach’ to still enter the country failed and led to his eventual deportation.

With the Grand Slam starting from 17th January when Novak was scheduled to play Miomir Kecmanovic, Djokovic was ordered to leave the country on 16th January as he lost the second appeal to get his visa back and remain in the country. Djokovic was disappointed by the ruling as he lost his 3 consecutive titles without any defence and lost an opportunity to claim his 21st Slam.

Novak’s father Srdjan had then made a bold statement, saying “the attempt to assassinate the best athlete in the world has ended. 50 bullets in Novak’s chest. See you in Paris.” Djokovic Sr. would however be now disappointed as the French Open has also made vaccination compulsory and while Australia did “allow medical exemptions”, as per reports, France will not be allowing any exemption for the 2022 French Open.

“I don’t understand and I don’t understand why it’s important for them to announce this now about the tournaments that will take place in May when the world doesn’t even know what will happen to the pandemic in a month. What and to whom are they going to protect themselves? 

“I do not want to underestimate the whole situation, it is serious in the world, but what is the purpose of discussing it now in January? Is it still about sport?” said Djokovic’s coach Marijan Vajda in his conversation with Slovakian media outlet Sport.SK.

Novak Djokovic’s participation at Wimbledon also doubtful

Novak Djokovic

We have been informed by the French Tennis Federation that legislation will soon be passed by the French Government prohibiting non-vaccinated athletes from competing in any sporting event. The legislation is awaiting final ramification but will likely come into effect within days,” read a letter issued by the ATP to their players.

With France making vaccination compulsory, news from across the Channel emerged that even the UK government is taking steps towards compulsory vaccination for the players participating in 2022 Wimbledon. The All-England Club had earlier given indications towards strict bio-bubbles and restricted movement for unvaccinated players but the latest reports are hinting towards compulsory vaccination.

This would make Djokovic lose all of his Grand Slam titles won in 2021 without a defence and could be a massive setback for him in the race to become the first player with 21 Grand Slam titles before his fellow Big-3 members Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal can.

Also Read: Novak Djokovic to miss French Open 2022? ATP lays down marker and informs players about mandatory vaccination for Roland Garros