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Novak Djokovic set to play Roland Garros after French government scraps COVID-19 vaccine pass

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Novak Djokovic will be able to play the 2022 French Open
Novak Djokovic will be able to play the 2022 French Open

Novak Djokovic will not be forced to skip his Roland Garros title defence this year, with the French government announcing that it will lift its policy of COVID-19 vaccine passes.

The pass required people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter public spaces like stadiums and cafes. As such, it was rumored that the Serb, who is unvaccinated, would be forced to skip the French Open, which takes place in Paris.

However, with France relaxing its restrictions, the World No. 2 will be free to enter the nation and compete at Roland Garros (and other French events) despite being unvaccinated.

The new rules are expected to be enforced from 14 March, with the Monte-Carlo Masters set to begin on 9 April and Roland Garros scheduled to commence on 22 May.

The news will come as music to the ears of the Serb, who was unceremoniously deported from Australia due to vaccine and visa-related issues. Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke argued that Djokovic could fuel anti-vaccination sentiment in the country due to his views on the COVID-19 vaccine and canceled the Serb's visa.

While the 20-time Major champion has repeatedly clarified that he is not against vaccines, many still believe he is an anti-vaxxer. That said, Djokovic has made it clear that he does not plan to go against his principles and get jabbed against COVID-19.

Novak Djokovic likely to be cleared to compete at Wimbledon, but US events still doubtful

The United Kingdom has lifted most of its major COVID-19 regulations even though there are still a few guidelines in place. The government is likely to allow unvaccinated individuals to compete at Wimbledon, meaning Novak Djokovic will get a chance to defend his crown at the All England Club.

His participation in events in the US, however, remains doubtful, given that the country has stringent rules in place for unvaccinated individuals. The Serb is set to miss the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Masters, which take place this month.

That said, the rules might be relaxed before August, when the US Open is scheduled to take place.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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