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    Djokovic May Not Defend His Australian Open Title

    Novak Djokovic Australian Open

    Tennis   |   November 30, 2021

     

    Srdjan Djokovic, the father of world number one, Novak Djokovic has raised doubts over his son’s participation in next year’s Australian Open. This is coming after Tennis Australia, last week, said that any player who wishes to participate in the Australian Open must be fully vaccinated. Djokovic has failed to reveal his vaccination status and his father has doubled down on that, describing the vaccination rules as “blackmails”.

    Speaking with Serbia’s TV Prva  recently, the father said, “As far as vaccines and non-vaccines are concerned, it is the personal right of each of us whether we will be vaccinated or not. No one has the right to enter into our intimacy.

    “Under these blackmails and conditions, (Djokovic) probably won’t (play). I wouldn’t do that. And he’s my son, so you decide for yourself.”

    The opinion of Djokovic’s father, although strong, is not final. While it is unlikely that Djokovic, who has been a strong critic of mandatory vaccination for the sports, would be fully vaccinated by the time the Australian Open starts, anything is quite possible. The thrill of winning the Australian Open for the 10th time and winning his 21st Grand Slam is enough to tempt Djokovic into showing up. But that may be wishful thinking.

    It is not entirely Tennis Australia’s fault that they are asking players to be vaccinated before coming into the country. Australia has taken a hard stance against the virus and only allows fully vaccinated people into the country. Making exemption for sport stars is not impossible but may be stiff to carry out, especially if other top players would show up under the current arrangement.

    Former world number one, Rafael Nadal has indicated that he would participate. And so would other top players. Djokovic might just be one of few players who would not show up due to the vaccine mandate.

     

    Written by: Leon Osamor

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