Novak Djokovic will be able to defend his Wimbledon title this summer after tournament organizers said that players who are unvaccinated against Covid-19 can compete at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).
The world No. 1 was not permitted to play at the Australian Open in January after twice having his visa revoked due to his unvaccinated status, and Djokovic told the BBC earlier this year he was willing to miss out on other tournaments if they required him to be vaccinated.
“The requirements set out by government to enter the UK do not include mandatory vaccination,” Sally Bolton, chief executive of the AELTC, told reporters on Tuesday. “Therefore, whilst of course it is encouraged, it will not be a condition of entry to compete at the Championships this year.”
After his deportation from Australia, Djokovic went on to miss the Masters 1000 events at Indian Well and Miami due to the United States’ Covid-19 entry rules.
The 20-time grand slam champion, who is bidding for his seventh Wimbledon title, reached his first final of the year at the Serbian Open last week, but lost to Andrey Rublev.
READ: Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev says Wimbledon ban is ‘illogical’ and ‘discriminatory’
Djokovic will go into Wimbledon as one of the favorites and his chances of winning are boosted by the absence of Daniil Medvedev and Rublev, two of the top 10’s most dangerous players, after tournament organizers last week announced that Russian players would not be able to compete.
The Serb criticized the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from playing at Wimbledon this year, calling the move “crazy.”
Wimbledon takes place from June 27 to July 10.