Skip to main content
Djokovic will be allowed to compete even if he is not vaccinated. Organizers say the decision is conditional on the coronavirus situation.

Djokovic, Russian players allowed to compete at French Open


Novak Djokovic will be allowed to compete in the French Open even if he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. Organizers said the decision comes with the condition the coronavirus situation in France remains stable.

Russian tennis players, including top-ranked Daniil Medvedev, will also be admitted to play in the tournament but as neutral athletes because of the war started by their country in neighboring Ukraine.

Organizers said there is nothing preventing Djokovic from defending his title at the Grand Slam. France recently lifted measures requiring face masks in most settings and allowed people who aren’t vaccinated back into restaurants, sports arenas and other venues.

“At this stage there is nothing to stop him returning to the courts,” French Open director Amelie Mauresmo said at a news conference.

Djokovic was deported from Australia in January after a legal battle over whether he should be allowed to enter the country, forcing him to miss the Australian Open. He told the BBC last month that he was willing to miss upcoming Grand Slam tournaments as well if they required him to get vaccinated.

Djokovic has won the French Open twice and has a total of 20 major titles, one short of the record held by Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard won this year’s Australian Open.

French tennis federation president Gilles Moretton said although Djokovic is now free to play, French authorities might be forced to introduce new restrictions if the virus situation deteriorates before the tournament starts on May 22.

Wimbledon organizers are having conversations with the British government about whether Russian players should be allowed to compete this year if they don’t distance themselves from President Vladimir Putin.