Serbian Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon 2021 before his hiatus from tennis tournaments due to his unvaccinated status. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo
April 26 (UPI) -- Men's world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and other unvaccinated tennis players are cleared to compete in Wimbledon 2022, tournament organizers said Tuesday at a news conference.
Wimbledon 2022 will run from June 27 through July 10 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London. All matches will include full-capacity crowds, compared to last year's limited allowance, a COVID-19 safety precaution.
"The requirements set up by government to enter the U.K. do not require mandatory vaccination," AELTC CEO Sally Bolton told reporters. "Therefore, while of course it is encouraged, it will not be a condition of entry for the championships this year."
Bolton also said unvaccinated players will not need to quarantine when they arrive in London and will be allowed to find their own accommodations.
"We don't intend to implement any of the COVID-19 measures that we saw last year in any substantial fashion," Bolton said. "We are of course keeping it on our radar in case we need to take further action."
Djokovic won the Wimbledon 2021 men's crown for his third-consecutive Grand Slam singles title last season. He went on to miss January's 2022 Australian Open -- in addition to other tournaments -- due to COVID-19 international travel requirements.
AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt also spoke Tuesday about the tournament's "intensely tough and agonizing" decision to decline entries to Russian and Belarusian players.
Wimbledon officials announced that ban, related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Belarusian government support for the war, last week.
Djokovic spoke about that decision the same day and said it was "crazy" for officials to bar Russian and Belarusian players. The ban will keep men's No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and No. 8 Andrey Rublev and women's No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka and No. 15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, among others, out of the grass-court Grand Slam.
Medvedev, Rublev and Pavlyuchenkova are from Russia. Sabalenka is Belarusian.
Djokovic, a six-time Wimbledon singles champion, owns 20 total Grand Slam singles titles. The Serbian is tied with Switzerland's Roger Federer for the second-most major titles in men's tennis history, one behind Spaniard Rafael Nadal's record 21 crowns.
Djokovic plans to compete in the 2022 French Open, his first Grand Slam tournament this season, from May 22 through June 5 in Paris.
Novak Djokovic looks up and smiles after a long point while playing in the U.S. Open finals against Roger Federer in New York City on September 9, 2007. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo