Novak Djokovic will be able to defend his title at Wimbledon this summer after organisers said that players unvaccinated against Covid-19 would be allowed to enter.
World No1 Djokovic was forced to miss the Australian Open in January because of his stance on the jab, which caused a convoluted legal row and led to his deportation.
But Wimbledon chiefs the All England Club, who last week banned Russian and Belarusian players over the invasion of Ukraine, say they will follow the UK Government’s stance.
“The requirements set out by government to enter the UK do not include mandatory vaccination, therefore whilst of course it is encouraged, it will not be a condition of entry to compete at the Championships this year,” said All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton.
It means Djokovic, 34, will be free to challenge for his seventh men’s singles title at Wimbledon, which starts on 27 June.
He could equal Rafa Nadal’s record tally of 21 Grand Slam titles weeks earlier at the French Open, after France dropped its requirement for all visitors to be vaccinated.
The Serb is yet to win a title this year and has played just three tournaments. In his best performance of 2022, he reached the final of the Serbian Open last week but lost to Russian Andrey Rublev.
Djokovic has insisted that he is not opposed to vaccinations but would be prepared to miss further Grand Slam tournaments rather than have the jab against his will.
He spoke out against Wimbledon chiefs last week over its ban on Russian and Belarusian players, which will see men’s world No2 Daniil Medvedev miss the tournament.
Djokovic won the title for a sixth time last year, beating Italian Matteo Berrettini in the final.