Novak Djokovic cops crushing new blow after Wimbledon triumph

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Jean-Yves Duclos, pictured here shooting down Novak Djokovic's chances of playing the Canadian Open.
Jean-Yves Duclos has shot down Novak Djokovic's chances of playing the Canadian Open. Image: Getty

Canada's Health Minister has suggested Novak Djokovic is unlikely to get an exemption to play the Canadian Open next month, while the tournament director has admitted he doesn't expect the Serbian star to be playing.

Djokovic won his 21st grand slam title at Wimbledon last week, beating Nick Kyrgios in four sets in a thrilling final.

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However as things currently stand, it might be some time before we see the World No.7 back in action.

The 35-year-old won't be allowed into America to play the US Open at the end of August because of a mandate still in place that requires overseas travellers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the country.

The same rules apply to Canada, and although Djokovic is on the entry list for the ATP 1000 event in Montreal, it looks like he won't be allowed into the country to play.

Speaking after his triumph at Wimbledon, Djokovic said he still isn't vaccinated and has no plans to change that.

Aksed about Djokovic's chances of playing the Canadian Open in a recent interview, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said: "The rules apply to everyone. There are a few exceptions but these are limited exceptions.

"So first of all, the rules apply to everyone, and second, Covid-19 is not over yet.

Eugene Lapierre, pictured here at the Canadian Open in 2015.
Eugene Lapierre at the Canadian Open in 2015. (Photo by Philippe Bouchard/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

"And again, we need to be mindful of the fact that despite the fact 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."

Meanwhile, tournament director Eugene Lapierre admitted he expects Djokovic to miss the event.

"We will have a great tournament,” Lapierre told the Daily Express.

"All the best players will be there except for two (Djokovic and the injured Alexander Zverev) and we know the reasons for their absence.

"Either the Canadian government is going to change the rules regarding vaccination or he is going to roll up his sleeves and get the vaccine. But I don't think any of those scenarios are realistic."

Novak and Jelena Djokovic, pictured here at the Wimbledon Champions Ball.
Novak and Jelena Djokovic at the Wimbledon Champions Ball. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)

After winning his seventh Wimbledon crown, Djokovic was asked whether he would get vaccinated in order to play in Canada and the United States.

"I'm not vaccinated and I'm not planning to get vaccinated so the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter United States or exemption," Djokovic said.

"I don't know. I don't think exemption is realistically possible. If that is possibility, I don't know what exemption would be about. I don't know. I don't have much answers there."

Djokovic's wife Jelena then rowed with American journalist Ben Rothenberg, who labelled the Serbian star an 'anti-vax poster boy'.

"Excuse me. Just making sure that it is noted that YOU tagged him as anti-vax poster boy for whatever reason you have. He simply responded what HIS body choice is," Jelena wrote.

Rafa Nadal expected to play at Canadian Open

Meanwhile, Lapierre said he expects Rafa Nadal to be ready to play in Montreal after his devastating injury withdrawal from Wimbledon.

Nadal was forced to pull out of his semi-final against Kyrgios after suffering an abdominal tear in the quarter-finals.

"Nadal really wants to come to Montreal and his hotel rooms are already booked," Lapierre said.

"He was sent a crate of balls to use during the tournament to prepare. He should return to training on Monday."

Nadal hasn't yet announced his upcoming schedule, but was spotted out on a jet ski just days after leaving Wimbledon in what many believed to be a good sign his injury won't keep him out of action.

Serena Williams will also return to action at the women's Canadian Open in Toronto after her first-round loss at Wimbledon.

The 40-year-old ended a 12-month absence from the tour when she played at Wimbledon earlier this month, losing in the first round to Harmony Tan.

It was her first singles match since she was forced to retire hurt in the opening round at Wimbledon in 2021.

The event serves as a key lead-up tournament for the US Open - a telling sign that Williams plans to play the final major of the year.

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