Novak Djokovic’s hopes of competing in the French Open in May have been given a boost after the country’s government relaxed vaccination passport requirements. Vaccine passports will no longer be required to enter venues beginning March 14, according to Prime Minister Jean Castex. After being deported from Australia in January, Djokovic defended his right to refuse the coronavirus vaccine in February. Vaccination is still required for participation in sports in the United States.
As a result, Djokovic, who lost the men’s world number one ranking to Daniil Medvedev on Monday, is expected to miss the Masters Series events in Indian Wells and Miami in March. Djokovic’s next tournament could be the Monte Carlo Masters in April, after France’s Castex said the conditions were met to suspend the vaccination pass wherever it applies.
The 34-year-old Serb lost in the quarter-finals of his first tournament of the year, which took place in Dubai at the end of February. If Djokovic competes in the French Open, which begins on May 22, he will be the defending champion.
Australian Open 2022 finalist Daniil Medvedev officially rose to the top men’s rankings on Monday. The Russian became the 27th men’s player to bag the top spot since computerized rankings began in 1973. The 26-year-old (8615 points) replaced Serbian megastar and 20-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic (8465) who held the summit spot for a record 361 total weeks. He is, incidentally, also the first player outside the big four — Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray — to reach the summit for the first time in 18 years, three weeks and six days, since Andy Roddick on 1 February 2004.
“Of course I am happy to reach No. 1. It was my goal since I was young and especially my goal in the latest times,” Medvedev said. “I got a lot of messages from many people and from other tennis players and I just want to thank everybody for the big support.”
He is the third Russian after Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin to achieve the feat. Kafelnikov held his position for six weeks while Safin enjoyed his top run for nine weeks which is still the highest for a Russian player.