Subscribe to our newsletter

Djokovic gets clearance to compete in Italian Open next month

The world No 1 is a five-time champion in Rome and reached the finals last year, losing to Rafael Nadal

Serbia's Novak Djokovic poses with the runners up trophy after losing against Spain's Rafael Nadal in the final of the Italian Open in Rome Serbia’s Novak Djokovic poses with the runners up trophy after losing against Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the final of the Italian Open in Rome Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

World No 1 Novak Djokovic has received the official clearance from organizers that he will be able to enter Italy and compete in the Rome Masters next month.

The Serb, who is a five-time champion in Rome and lost to Rafael Nadal in the 2021 final, remains unvaccinated and was unable to compete at the Australian Open or the Indian Wells and Miami Masters in the first quarter of the season.

But Djokovic was assured on Wednesday that he will be able to play in Rome as he prepares to launch a bid for a 21st Grand Slam title at Roland-Garros next month.

Speaking at a presentation for the tournament, Italian Tennis Federation president Angelo Binaghi said, “The rules regarding players’ participation are established by the government and the ATP. ”

Binaghi indicated that the issue had been discussed with Italian government’s cabinet undersecretary in charge of sports Valentina Vezzali, who was seated next to him at the event on Wednesday.

As per current rules to enter Italy, one must either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or show proof of recovery from infection or a negative test. Djokovic has said that he tested positive twice for COVID-19, the most recent one coming in December.

Organizers also announced that full crowds will be allowed after two years of reduced capacity and provided an update on their plans to build a retractable roof over the main court, Campo Centrale. Organizers will choose one of seven finalists for the project in July and are also hoping to expand the number of days for the men’s tournament starting in 2023.

Djokovic narrowly escaped in his second round match in Belgrade

The Serb is currently playing just his third tournament of the season, the ATP Serbia Open in Belgrade, which his family runs. Woefully short of matches, Djokovic struggled for more than three hours and 20 minutes to beat compatriot Laslo Djere 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 in the second round on Wednesday. The win took his record to 3-2 for the 2022 season.

Djokovic will next meet another countryman, the No 7 seed Miomir Kacmanovic, in Thursday’s quarter-finals as he attempts to reach his first semi-final of the season.

Your comments

Your email address will not be published.