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Tennis star Novak Djokovic will be allowed to defend his Wimbledon title, as the COVID-19 vaccine will not be a requirement in order to compete in the 2022 Wimbledon tournament.
The world’s number one player was not allowed to compete in the 2022 Australian Open due to being unvaccinated, and was deported from Australia due to the risk that his “vaccine skepticism posed a risk to public health and good order of Australian society.”
In March, France lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions, clearing the way for Djokovic to play in the French Open at Roland Garros at the end of May. Djokovic will now be allowed to play at Wimbledon following the French Open, with Chief Executive of the All England Club Sally Bolton saying that the United Kingdom does not require the COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter the country.
“The requirements set out by government to enter the UK do not include mandatory vaccination, therefore whilst of course it is encouraged, it will not be a condition of entry to compete at the Championships this year,” Bolton said, according to Sky Sports.
According to Bolton, Wimbledon will be lifting its COVID-19 restrictions that were in place at last year’s tournament.
“We are planning to return to a normal Championships this year,” Bolton said. “And so we don’t intend to implement any of the Covid-19 measures that we saw last year in any substantial fashion.”
Bolton did say that the tournament will work with public health officials “in case we need to take further action.”
“But this means that players will be able to return to their own choice of accommodation,” Bolton continued. “We will see full capacity crowds for the whole event. And we’re absolutely thrilled to welcome back the wider tennis family to Wimbledon this year.”
Djokovic has stated that he will skip any tournaments that require the COVID-19 vaccine in order to compete.
“Yes, that is the price that I’m willing to pay,” Djokovic told the BBC when asked if he would be willing to miss out on tournaments requiring him to get the jab.
In March, Djokovic announced that would not compete in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, or the late-March Miami Open, due to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) vaccine requirement for non-U.S. citizens flying into the country.
“While I was automatically listed in the [BNP Paribas Open] and [Miami Open] draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel,” Djokovic posted to Twitter. “The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won’t be able to play in the US. Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments.”
Wimbledon is scheduled to be played from June 27 to July 10.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].