Djokovic told it is ‘impossible’ for him to compete at another major tournament

It will be ‘impossible’ for Novak Djokovic to compete at the Canadian Open if restrictions on unvaccinated travellers in the country remain the same, according to tournament organisers. The Canadian Open is a big tournament on the ATP calendar, with the winner claiming 1,000 ranking points.

Djokovic gained international headlines when he was not allowed to play at the Australian Open due to his vaccination status. The Serb was also banned from entering the Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open this month due to the United States’ Covid guidelines, which state an individual must be fully vaccinated in order to enter the country.

Since his issues Down Under, Djokovic has been eligible to compete at the Qatar Open in February. The 20-time Grand Slam winner will take part at the Serbian Open, the Monte Carlo Masters and the upcoming French Open.

However, the 34-year-old could be denied entry into the Canadian Open – which runs from August 8 to 14 – if rules are not changed. According to current regulations, foreign nationals need to be fully vaccinated in order to enter the country.

“We’re not really in a hurry [to confirm regulations],” tournament director Eugene Lapierre told Le Journal de Montreal. “We imagine that there will be changes as we go along; if the situation improves, if the situation worsens, or whatever.

“If it was today, it would be impossible for Novak to return to Canada and participate in the event. So we’re going to wait.”

Lapierre hopes Montreal will be able to welcome back full crowds for the Masters tournament.

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He added: “It’s going very, very well. We will return to a normal tournament. In 2020, it was cancelled. In 2021, we were at a third or so of capacity. We’ll be happy to see the stands full and it’s responding very well for the moment; Ticket sales are going full steam ahead.”

Lapierre's comments come after WTA boss Steve Simon insisted Russian and Belarusian tennis players should not be banned from playing events because of politics. Russian and Belarusian tennis players are not allowed to play under their country’s name or flag and are banned from team competition amid the war.

“You never know what the future may bring,” Simon told BBC Sport. “But I can tell you that we have never banned athletes from participating on our tour as the result of political positions their leadership may take.”

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