Novak Djokovic is unlikely to be allowed to play at the Canadian Open this year, tournament director Eugene Lapierre has confirmed.
Djokovic had a very tough start of the year as he was deported from Australia due to his decision not to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
That decision has restricted his movements on the ATP Tour as a result, with the North American tournaments particularly strict on not allowing unvaccinated foreigners to enter the country.
Djokovic, in fairness, has never complained about that and has stressed more than once that he is perfectly willing to accept whatever comes with his decision – even if it means he is unable to play as many tournaments as he’d like to.
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He is hoping for a change in border policy which would allow him to play the US Open next month, although it appears for now that the Canadian Open will remain out of his reach for now.
“The situation is clear – either Canada will change the rules regarding vaccination or he (Novak Djokovic) will have to roll up his sleeves and receive the vaccine,” Eugene Lapierre said.
“However, I do not consider either of those two scenarios likely.”
Lapierre’s assessment appears to be accurate, especially given the recent comments Canada’s health minister Jean-Yves Duclos.
Canada have certainly been a country who have erred on the side of caution during the pandemic and, unlike other governments, they are not yet ready to declare it over.
“Well first, the rules apply to everyone,” Duclos said. “There are a few exceptions but these are limited exceptions. So first of all, the rules apply to everyone, and second, COVID-19 is not over yet.
“And again, we need to be mindful of the fact that despite we have been so successful with two doses, we need to up our game and have more Canadians being up to date on their vaccination status.”