Novak Djokovic could be set for more Grand Slam heartache after he was deported from Australia just a day before the Melbourne tournament begun
France ’s politicians have voted to approve a vaccine pass prohibiting unvaccinated players from all sports arenas
An overwhelming 215 members of France’s lower house voted in favour of the vaccine pass ruling, to just 58 who were against it.
The vaccine pass also means France will exclude the unvaccinated from restaurants as well as other venues, and will apply to anyone over the age of 16.
The law is set to come into operation in due course.
Djokovic, 34, who was deported from Australia yesterday and is unvaccinated, is now a doubt for tennis’ second Grand Slam of the year.
Stanislas Guerin, who represents the 17th and 18th arrondissements (boroughs) in Paris, condemned the tennis legend for his decision to not get vaccinated and stated that he should have respected Australia’s rules.
“Djokovic’s behaviour was irresponsible. Australia is a sovereign country which makes its rules and the rules should be respected,” he said.
“We can’t have two weights and two measures regarding the Covid Pass. If you are called Djoko, Nadal or Mr Whoever, you respect the rules.
“All the big events which will take place in France will adopt the Covid Pass. Who would understand if we asked our citizens to make an effort and respect the rules and we then authorised some to get out of them?”
The Serbian won his second Roland Garros title last year, overturning a two-set deficit against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.
In the process, the Serbian became the first and only man to win every Major, ATP Masters and ATP Finals at least twice.
The world No 1 received a hero’s welcome when he returned to his native Serbia earlier today after being deported from Australia.
Hoards of fans gathered outside Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla airport on Monday to wave Serbian flags with chants of “You are our champion, Novak!” being heard as he emerged through customs.
One banner read “Novak, God bless you” and the world No 1 also posed for selfies with fans while wearing his mask.
Following the court ruling to send him home, Djokovic said: “I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open.
“I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.”
The Australian Open commenced in the early hours of this morning and the likes of defending champion Naomi Osaka and world number six Rafael Nadal progressed to round two with comfortable straight-set wins.