Novak Djokovic Withdraws From Montreal's National Bank Open Over His Vaccination Status

The 21-time Grand Slam winner is not allowed to enter Canada.

Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Novak Djokovic playing tennis.

Novak Djokovic playing tennis.

Novak Djokovic will not be playing at the upcoming National Bank Open in Montreal as he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and is therefore not permitted to enter Canada. The Canadian government still requires unvaccinated travellers entering the country to quarantine for 14-days upon arrival, which will not be possible for Novak.

According to CTV, Tennis Canada confirmed the news regarding Djokovic's withdrawal from the tennis tournament. For this very reason, Novak Djokovic will most likely not be able to participate in the U.S Open come August 29.

The 35-year-old tennis mogul caused quite the ruckus earlier this year after having his visa cancelled while in Australia for being unvaccinated, which led to a court battle between the tennis player and the land down under.

Novak Djokovic has since stuck to his guns regarding his choice to remain unvaccinated, and thus, will not be competing in the 514 as planned.

"I am a professional tennis player, I don't go into politics or anything else because that doesn't interest me. I have my stance and I am a proponent for freedom to choose what is best for you. I respect everything and everybody, and I expect people to at least respect my decision. [...] If I have permission, I'll be there. If I don't, I won't be there — it's not the end of the world," Djokovic said, per Eurosport.

Djokovic's withdrawal from the National Bank Open shouldn't come as too much of a shock considering Canada's Health Minister, Jean-Yves Duclos made his stance regarding the matter very clear.

During a July 15 press conference, Duclos was asked if the rules should be changed regarding allowing unvaccinated travellers into Canada, particularly when it comes to the upcoming National Bank Open.

"Well first, the rules apply to everyone. There are a few exceptions but these are limited exceptions. Second, COVID-19 is not over yet. And again, we need to be mindful of the fact that despite we have been so successful with two doses, we need to up our game and have more Canadians being up to date on their vaccination status," Duclos said.

The news has not gone over well for many, fellow tennis player, John Isner included. Isner referred to Djokovic's withdrawal as "complete lunacy," before taking a hit at COVID-19 rules with his bold choice of hashtag.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Mike Chaar
Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Mike Chaar is a writer by day and reality TV binge-watcher by night. When he’s not cracking down on recalls, celeb news and discovering the best of the best foodie spots across Montreal, he can be found indulging in his love for new cuisines, reading and music, with Mariah Carey being his ultimate diva.
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