EXPRESS SPORT readers want to see Novak Djokovic banned from the remaining Grand Slams in 2022 if he remains unvaccinated.
A whopping 80 per cent of fans believe Novak Djokovic should be banned from the remaining three Grand Slams of 2022. The world No 1 was deported from Australia on the eve of the Aussie Open, having entered the country with a medical exemption to bypass the requirement of full vaccination for all players. More than 40,000 Express Sport readers voted in a poll with the overwhelming majority calling for Djokovic to be kept out of the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
Djokovic’s Australian Open participation had been up in the air for several months as the country’s ministers moved to implement a vaccine mandate, something the world No 1 had been opposed to.
Tournament organisers confirmed mandatory vaccines for all players back in November, but the nine-time champion in Melbourne remained coy about his vaccination status and decision to compete at the season-opening Grand Slam.
He then surprised everyone with an announcement on Instagram earlier this month, confirming he was flying Down Under to play the tournament after receiving a medical exemption from Tennis Australia.
11 days of chaos then ensued as Djokovic was first detained at the airport on arrival, later having his visa cancelled at the border after staying for overnight questioning.
He then spent the weekend in a government detention hotel while awaiting an appeal hearing, which he won on the grounds of “procedural fairness”, allowing him out into Melbourne to train on the grounds ahead of the Australian Open.
But Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his personal ministerial powers to revoke Djokovic’s visa for a second time and a Federal Court appeal hearing upheld the decision, with the world No 1 deported from Australia on the eve of the tournament.
There was more bad news for the 34-year-old as he faced a ban from the next Grand Slam, Roland Garros, after France implemented new Covid pass rules, banning any unvaccinated individual from public buildings including sports arenas, with the Sports Minister confirming that both French and foreign professionals were subject to the rule.
Wimbledon could be the only Major the world No 1 is limited to playing this year, with a ban for unvaccinated players also expected at the US Open at the end of the summer.
And the majority of tennis fans agree that Djokovic should be banned from the remaining three Grand Slams this year, as well as the 2023 Australian Open if he remains unvaccinated.
An overwhelming 80 per cent of 42,111 Express Sport readers who voted in a poll over Djokovic’s upcoming Grand Slams said the defending French Open champion needed to be banned from the tournament this year if he is still unvaccinated.
Compared to 33,651 of readers who thought he should be banned, just 7,689 said he should be allowed to play while 771 were unsure.
And it was the same story for Wimbledon and the US Open, with 79 per cent voting for the 20-time Major champion to be banned if he remains unjabbed.