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9-time champ Novak Djokovic doubt for Australian Open after vaccine decision

Djokovic, a nine-time winner in Melbourne, has repeatedly refused to disclose his vaccination status and intimated he would not play if the vaccine ruling was enforced.

Published: 20th November 2021 08:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th November 2021 08:29 PM   |  A+A-

ATP World Number One Novak Djokovic

ATP World Number One Novak Djokovic (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

MELBOURNE: Novak Djokovic's participation in the Australian Open in January is in doubt after officials confirmed all players must be vaccinated in order to compete in the tournament.

Djokovic, a nine-time winner in Melbourne, has repeatedly refused to disclose his vaccination status and intimated he would not play if the vaccine ruling was enforced.

Tournament Director Craig Tiley said at the tournament's official launch: "Everyone on site - the fans, the staff and the players - will need to be vaccinated in order to participate in this year's Australian Open.

"There has been a lot of speculation around Novak's position. He has noted and said publicly that it is a private matter. We would love to see Novak here he knows he has to be vaccinated in order to play."

Djokovic is chasing his 21st grand slam title but appears adamant that he will not bow to Melbourne's demands.

Speaking this week at the season-ending ATP Tour finals in Turin, Djokovic insisted: "You should have the freedom to choose, to decide what you want to do. In this particular case, what you want to put in your body."

Djokovic sparked anger last year when he wrote a letter during the build-up to the tournament suggesting the strict 14-day quarantine rules for top players should be relaxed.



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