Djokovic marks Monte Carlo as next tournament

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Novak Djokovic will kick off preparations for his French Open title defence next month at the ATP Masters event on clay at Monte Carlo, the Serb said on his website.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner was unable to defend his Australian Open title in January after being deported from the country in a furore after being initially admitted to the tournament despite not being vaccinated against coronavirus.

The 34-year-old will also miss this month’s ATP 1000 tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami, unable to enter the United States without a proof of vaccination.

“Novak will open his 2022 clay court season in Monte Carlo, where he won the Masters 1000 title twice, in 2013 and 2015,” a post on his website said.

Monaco, where Djokovic resides, allows international travellers with a proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the last six months. Djokovic has said he tested positive for the virus for a second time in December.

The April 10-17 Monte Carlo Masters will be the second tournament in the 2022 season for Djokovic, who lost in the quarterfinals of the ATP 500 event in Dubai last month.

France loosened its COVID-19 restrictions this month, with vaccine passports no longer mandatory as of March 14, opening the door for the Djokovic to defend his title at Roland Garros. The major is scheduled to start in May.

Djokovic is ranked No. 2 in the world after losing his world No. 1 status to Russian Daniil Medvedev last week.

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