Novak Djokovic’s vaccination status continues to cause discussions in the tennis circuit. Will the Serb now serve at the Australian Open?
The world’s number one competes in Innsbruck on Friday. Djokovic is part of the Serbian Davis Cup team that competes in the preliminary round in Tyrol. It’s against Austria and Germany. Without fans in the stands, because the tennis festival is affected by the lockdown. But not the players, who are considered professional athletes.
Djokovic has to be tested anyway. A vaccination is not absolutely necessary. In contrast to the Australian Open. The first Grand Slam tournament of 2022 starts on January 17th. It is still uncertain whether Djokovic will be there. The world number one always pointed out that his vaccination status was a private matter. At the same time, the organizers announced last week that only vaccinated players would serve in Melbourne.
“If he plays here, he’s vaccinated”
Tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed that on the sports broadcaster “SEN”: “One thing is certain: If he plays here in January, he will be vaccinated. We will have to wait and see,” said the boss of Tennis Australia.
A decision could possibly be made at the turn of the year. The ATP Cup starts in Sydney on January 1st. Further preparation tournaments will follow in Australia before the start of the Australian Open. The same rules apply here too.
Tournament director believes in Djokovic start
However, Tiley is sure to welcome the world number one in Melbourne. For the Serb, it’s not just about defending his title at the Australian Open, but also about a lot of prestige. “He has 20 Grand Slam titles. Just like Rafael Nadal, who comes here, and Roger Federer. One of them will surpass the other,” the top Australian tennis boss predicted. And added: “I don’t think Novak wants to leave this feat to someone else.”
At the same time, it is one of the last opportunities the Serb can have to go to the Grand Slam again. Should Djokovic actually voluntarily renounce the Australian Open, the Serb would pass up this chance frivolously.