Novak Djokovic will be allowed to defend his title at Wimbledon, despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19, because the shots are not required to enter Britain, All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said Tuesday.
Djokovic, a 34-year-old Serb who is ranked No. 1, missed the Australian Open in January after being deported from that country because he was not vaccinated against the illness caused by the coronavirus that has led to the deaths of millions during the pandemic that began in 2020.
During the annual spring briefing ahead of Wimbledon, which starts on June 27, Bolton said that "whilst, of course, it is encouraged" that all players get vaccinated, "it will not be a condition of entry to compete" at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament this year.
Djokovic, in addition to being unable to defend his championship at Melbourne Park after an 11-day legal saga over whether he could remain in Australia, had to sit out tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami because he couldn't travel to the United States as a foreigner who is unvaccinated.
The U.S. Tennis Association has said that it will follow whatever governmental rules are in place regarding COVID-19 vaccination status when the US Open is held starting in late August.