The 2022 French Open will officially get underway on May 22 but will the men’s number one player be there?
Novak Djokovic has suffered a turbulent year to date with his decision not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 seeing him deported from Australia in January and unable to defend his Australian Open title.
The Serbian star was then denied entry into the United States to play at Indian Wells and the Miami Open in March.
Will Novak Djokovic play in the French Open?
Despite France previously requiring COVID-19 vaccination for anyone trying to enter the country, they have recently changed those rules meaning Djokovic will be able to compete at Roland-Garros.
“As things stand, nothing stands in the way of Djokovic taking part in the French Open,” tournament director Amelie Mauresmo said in March.
French Tennis Federation president Gilles Moretton did, however, stress that nothing is certain moving forward with the pandemic not yet over.
“There’s still a virus circulating, and we have to be cautious,” Moretton said.
“If things were to happen again and the government would take new measures, we would not be excluded from these measures.”
While France once had strict COVID measures due to high case numbers, they have been loosening restrictions since February and continued to do so despite another case spike in late March.
How many times has Novak Djokovic won the French Open?
Djokovic has won the French Open twice, while he’s also lost four finals across the past 16 years.
The French Open is Djokovic’s least successful Grand Slam event overall with the Serbian winning the US Open three times, Wimbledon six times and the Australian Open nine times.
He will arrive at Roland-Garros as defending champion and has made it to at least the quarter-finals every year since 2009.
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How has Novak Djokovic performed in 2022 so far?
It’s been a difficult year so far for Djokovic, who is yet to win an event and temporarily lost his world number one ranking.
After being unable to compete at the Australian Open, the Serbian began his year in Dubai, winning two matches before a surprise defeat in the quarter-finals against unseeded Jiri Vesely.
Following a six-week break as a result of being denied entry into the United States, Djokovic then returned to action at the Monte Carlo Masters in April and suffered rare back-to-back defeats.
The tournament’s top seed was stunned in three sets by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3 6-7 (2) 6-1 as he began his clay-court season in disappointing fashion.
Djokovic would find form on home soil a week later though as he reached the final of the Serbia Open where he lost the decider against Andrey Rublev 6-2 6-7 (3) 6-0.
The world No.1 reached the Madrid Open semi-finals in May and won his first match 6-3 6-3 against Gael Monfils.
After the victory, Djokovic claimed it was his best showing of 2022 as he looks to build momentum for the French Open.
“I would probably rate it as the best performance of the year,” Djokovic said post-match.
“I felt very good on the court. I’m very pleased, considering that up to today I was not playing my best tennis in the few tournaments that I played this year and still kind of finding my rhythm, finding my groove.”
Djokovic was ultimately knocked out of the tournament by rising Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.
The Serbian would bounce back at the Italian Open as he claimed his first ATP title of 2022 after sweeping past Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final on May 15.