Apr 26, 2022 - Sports

Wimbledon won't have vaccine requirement, allowing Djokovic to play

Djokovic kissing the winner's trophy at last year's Wimbledon Championships

Djokovic kissing the winner's trophy at last year's Wimbledon. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

Wimbledon said Tuesday that it won't have a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for this year's tournament, clearing the way for Novak Djokovic to defend his title in London.

Driving the news: Djokovic wasn't allowed to play in the Australian Open in January because he wasn't vaccinated for COVID-19 and received a three-year visa ban from Australia.

  • He will also likely be able to play in the French Open in May. French officials announced last month that the country would no longer require travelers to be vaccinated.
  • The world No. 1 had to sit out of two prominent U.S. tournaments, Indian Wells and the Miami Open, earlier this year because the U.S. requires foreign travelers to show proof of vaccination.
  • It's unclear if Djokovic will be able to play in the U.S. Open after tournament officials said they would follow the government rules in place.

The big picture: Djokovic has won 20 grand slams, including six at Wimbledon. That is second-most for a men's player, trailing only Rafael Nadal.

What they're saying: "Whilst of course [vaccination] is encouraged, it will not be a condition of entry to compete at the championship this year," All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said at a press conference on Tuesday.

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