Novak Djokovic may well have thought that on landing back in Belgrade following his eviction from Australia, the curtain would have fallen on the events of the past fortnight.
Djokovic's behaviour was irresponsible,. 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 Stanislas Guerin, representative of the 17th and 18th arrondissements in Paris
He now faces a ban of three years from Australia although there are already signs that the Government might be more malleable on the subject nearer the time.
Interestingly, the French government were quick to open their doors to the Serbian whilst he was in detention at the Park Hotel in Melbourne, saying he would be able to defend his Roland Garros title whilst still unvaccinated, despite the increasing rise in Covid cases in the country.
That offer is fast fading as the French Government has now voted to ban unvaccinated spectators and professionals from sports arenas, as well as other venues including restaurants!
Consequently, the world No.1 who is trying to establish himself as the ‘greatest of all time’, could now be banned from the French Open this spring, unless the organisers under the new management of Amelie Mauresmo, attempt to find loopholes like Craig Tiley did in Melbourne.
French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu has now confirmed that “French or foreign professionals” are also subject to this rule.
Meanwhile, Stanislas Guerin, who represents the 17th and 18th arrondissements in Paris, confirmed that Djokovic would not receive any special treatment to compete at Roland Garros this spring if he is still unvaccinated.
“Djokovic’s behaviour was irresponsible,” he said, commenting on the 34-year-old’s attempt to enter Australia unvaccinated, but with a medical exemption granted by Tennis Australia.
“Australia is a sovereign country which makes it rules and the rules should be respected.
“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?”
Djokovic is also expected to face difficulties competing in the next two big events on the calendar – the Masters 1000s in Indian Wells and Miami, with players also required to be fully vaccinated to enter the US and compete.
No comments are expected from Djokovic until the conclusion of the Australian Open.