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Novak Djokovic Faces French Open Ban After Australian Deportation

by : Shola Lee on :
Novak Djokovic Faces French Open Ban After Australian DeportationAlamy

Novak Djokovic could face issues participating in the French Open following his deportation from Australia.

The tennis star, who is unvaccinated, was placed in immigration detention and lost his fight for a visa, despite arguing that he’d been granted a special exemption from the country’s vaccination rules by Tennis Australia.

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Following the decision and his subsequent deportation, Djokovic headed home to Serbia via Dubai to take some time ‘to rest and recuperate’.

Now, however, a obstacle has appeared that could affect Djokovic’s chances of competing in the French Open.

Novak Djokovic (Alamy)Alamy

French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu had initially supported the idea of bubbles for unvaccinated athletes like Djokovich, but on Sunday, January 16, she changed her position after stricter vaccination measures were passed in the French parliament, and now believes all athletes need to be vaccinated.

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Djokovic currently holds the French Open title, so his failure to attend the event would prevent him from defending his title.

Novak Djokovic (Alamy)Alamy

However, this could change again by the summer, with the president of the French Tennis Federation, Gilles Moretton, also speaking about the issue.

Moretton explained:

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Our teams are working in collaboration with the public authorities, who will specify in due course the rules relating to the reception of unvaccinated foreign athletes for our tournament.

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Djokovic’s deportation could spell trouble for his future participation in the Australian Open, as deportation from the country typically results in an automatic three-year ban from the region.

While this could be waived in the future, it does cast doubt over Djokovic’s future as an unvaccinated competitor.

Novak Djokovic. (Alamy)
Novak Djokovic. (Alamy)
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Currently, it doesn’t seem that Britain will join France and Australia on stricter vaccination rules for sportspeople. This means that it will be likely Djokovic can compete at Wimbledon 2022.

Many hit back against his deportation, with fellow Serbian tennis player Lslo Djere calling the ordeal ‘catastrophic’.

He said:

I think the whole world saw it and they probably will have a new or different opinion about Australia. I mean, the guy had the exemption and they still deported him.

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‘Something went horribly wrong. It was a true catastrophic situation,’ he added.

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Shola Lee

Shola Lee began her journalism career while studying for her undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London and Columbia University in New York. She has written for the Columbia Spectator, QM Global Bloggers, CUB Magazine, UniDays, and Warner Brothers' Wizarding World Digital. Recently, Shola took part in the 2021 BAFTA Crew and BBC New Creatives programme before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories, and features.

Topics: News, Australian Open, Novak Djokovic, Tennis, Vaccination

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Independent
  1. Independent

    Novak Djokovic could face French Open battle as rules on unvaccinated tighten