Novak Djokovic keeps quiet over whether he will play at the Australian Open

The Serbian is waiting to hear what Tennis Australia says about unvaccinated players being allowed to take part.

Pa Sport Staff
Sunday 31 October 2021 18:34
Novak Djokovic did not confirm whether he would play at the Australian Open in his first press conference since the US Open (Adam Davy/PA)
Novak Djokovic did not confirm whether he would play at the Australian Open in his first press conference since the US Open (Adam Davy/PA)

Novak Djokovic did not confirm whether he would play at the Australian Open in his first press conference since his US Open final defeat.

Tournament officials have said previously that unvaccinated players are unlikely to be allowed to enter the country for the event.

The state of Victoria which is scheduled to host the first major of 2022 in January, has introduced a vaccination mandate for professional athletes as it battles a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

Novak Djokovic has won the Australian Open a record nine times but could elect not to take part in next year’s tournament (PA)

“Well, I’m going to decide on whether I go to Australia or not after I see the official statement from Tennis Australia ” Djokovic said when asked about the likelihood of him competing in the competition.

“Right now we don’t have any official announcement or statement. So until that’s out, I won’t be talking about this anymore, because, you know, I don’t want to be part of the stories about the assumptions and what-ifs.

“When official condition requirements to travel to Australia and play in Australia are out, then obviously I’ll see what I personally do with that, and also the bigger group of the players, you know, because the situation is obviously different in Australia than most parts of the world.”

Djokovic was forced to apologise after staging a charity event in Serbia in 2020 with no social-distancing measures in place, after which a number of players, including Djokovic himself, tested positive for the virus.

It was the first time the Serbian had faced the press following his US Open final defeat in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. He is due to return at the Rolex Paris Masters in a bid to finish the year as world number one.

“The year-end number one is on the line between Medvedev and myself, and I’m in a pretty good position in terms of the ranking points and the race, so that’s obviously the goal for the end of the season other than trying to do well in the Davis Cup with the national team.

“So hopefully I can have a strong finish of the season and clinch that year-end number one.”

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