There has been intense speculation over Djokovic’s participation in the ATP Cup and the Australian Open, which starts on January 17, with the 34-year-old, who is opposed to vaccinations, repeatedly declining to say if he has been inoculated against Covid-19
Last Updated: 29/12/21 9:51am
World No 1 Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the Serbian team for the ATP Cup in Sydney, casting further doubt on whether he will play at the Australian Open.
“Team Serbia will now be led by world number 33 Dusan Lajovic,” organisers of the team event said in a statement.
There has been intense speculation over Djokovic’s participation in the event and the Australian Open, which starts on January 17, with the 34-year-old, who is opposed to vaccinations, repeatedly declining to say if he has been inoculated against Covid-19.
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Australian Open organisers have stipulated that all participants must be vaccinated against the coronavirus or have a medical exemption granted by an independent panel of experts.
Speaking to media in Melbourne earlier this month, tournament director Craig Tiley said: “Everyone who is coming in is vaccinated and there will be a small percentage – a very small percentage – that will have a medical exemption.
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“So, if any player, fan (or) workforce is on site here, you’re either vaccinated or you have a medical exemption that’s approved and you’re on the Australian Immunisation Register. That provides us with safety and an extra level of comfort on site.
“If Novak shows up at the Australian Open, he’ll either be vaccinated or he’ll have a medical exemption. (It’s) his choice on his medical condition, it’s his choice to keep (it) personal and private like all of us would do with any condition we may or may not have.
“We are not going to force him or ask him to disclose that.”
Tiley expressed confidence that Rafael Nadal, who is currently isolating with coronavirus as he contemplates his return to the tour following a foot problem, will be in Melbourne.