Novak Djokovic news LIVE: Tennis star deported for vaccine stance as French Open doubts continue
The men’s world No 1 is facing the prospect of missing out on further grand slams due to his vaccination status after France’s sports minister announced that athletes would not be exempt from the country’s Covid pass. The French Open at Roland Garros takes place in May and his participation in the tournament has been thrown into doubt just days after Djokovic was deported from Australia and returned home to his native Belgrade, where he “will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this”.
Djokovic was deported at the weekend following the ruling, with the judicial triumvirate deciding not to overturn the decision of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to cancel the world number one’s visa. One of the grounds on which Djokovic appealed was that it was unreasonable to paint him as anti-vaccination, but the judges said: “It was plainly open to the minister to infer that Mr Djokovic had chosen not to be vaccinated because he was opposed to vaccination or did not wish to be vaccinated.
“It was also open to the minister to infer that the public would view his attitude as the media had portrayed: that he was unwilling to be vaccinated.” Hawke based his decision on a belief that Djokovic’s vaccination stance may foster similar sentiment in Australia and thus negatively impact public health.
Follow all the latest news, reaction and updates as the Australian Open continues.