Thursday December 7, 2023

Novak Djokovic’s Holdout Will Cost Him More Than History

  • French and English current COVID restrictions prevent him from defending his 2021 French and Wimbledon championships.
  • After winning five tournaments and earning $9.1 million in 2021, Djokovic hasn’t played this year.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/Design: John Regula
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Novak Djokovic was deported prior to the Australian Open in January, derailing his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title. Without him, Rafael Nadal made men’s tennis history by winning No. 21.

The world No. 1 told the BBC that missing the French Open and Wimbledon “is the price that I’m willing to pay” for remaining unvaccinated. 

The price would be steep: Djokovic earned $1.7 million for winning at Roland Garros in 2021 and $2.4 million for his Wimbledon title.

French and English current COVID restrictions prevent him from defending his 2021 French and Wimbledon championships — and adding to his $155 million in career earnings, the most all-time.

  • The 34-year-old has won the French Open twice and Wimbledon six times, including the last three.
  • After winning five tournaments and earning $9.1 million in 2021, Djokovic hasn’t played this year. He last played for Serbia in the Davis Cup in early December.
  • He’s scheduled to play in March at the BNP Paribas Open in California.

Wins in the French Open (May 22-June 5) and Wimbledon (June 27-July 10) would break Djokovic’s second-place tie with Roger Federer (20 GS titles) and surpass Nadal for the top spot.

Even with his status up in the air, Djokovic has the second-best odds (+225*) to win the French and is the favorite at Wimbledon (+110*).

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