Novak Djokovic expects to defend French Open title, tournament organizers say

French Open organizers said on Wednesday Novak Djokovic would be allowed to defend his title. France has lifted restrictions in almost all public spaces.

French Open organizers expect Novak Djokovic to play at Roland Garros (Reuters Photo)

French Open organizers expect Novak Djokovic to play at Roland Garros (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • French Open organizers expect Djokovic to defend his title
  • France has lifted restrictions on almost all public spaces
  • Djokovic failed to defend his title at the Australian Open in January

The organizers of the French Open have confirmed that Serbian Novak Djokovic will be allowed to defend his title. In particular, Roland Garros is preparing to host what is expected to be the first Grand Slam without coronavirus-related restrictions since the pandemic began two years ago.

France on Monday lifted restrictions on almost all public spaces – except for hospitals, nursing homes and public transport – meaning the Roland Garros stadium should be operating at full capacity as Djokovic will take it to the red clay courts.

“From today’s perspective, nothing stands in the way of Djokovic’s participation in the French Open,” said tournament director Amelie Mauresmo at a press conference on Wednesday.

Djokovic failed to defend his title at the Australian Open in January after being expelled from the country in an uproar after initially being admitted to the tournament despite not being vaccinated against coronavirus.

“There is still a virus circulating and we have to be careful. If things happened again and the government took new measures, we would not be excluded from these measures,” he explained.

Moretton was optimistic the Roland Garros stadium would be full after spending in 2020 and 2021 was hit by COVID-19.

“We started ticket sales on March 8 and 500,000 of the 600,000 have already been sold,” Moretto said at a news conference on Wednesday.

“Of the 150,000 tickets for the night sessions, 100,000 were sold.”

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