World number one, Novak Djokovic, has his name appear on the Australian Open entry list, which is a sign that he might participate in the first Grand Slam of 2022, which would hold in January. There has been a lot of speculation over his participation in the tournament.
Tennis Australia had asked that players interested in playing at the Australian Open must be fully vaccinated by January. Many have presumed that this requirement would prove to be an obstacle to Djokovic’s participation.
No one knows the Serb’s vaccination status as he has refused to make it public. His father, Srdjan, had taken his son’s position, as he revealed weeks ago. He said that the issue of vaccination was a private affair, and his son might not play under conditions that make vaccination mandatory.
This, and Djokovic’s past actions, point to the fact that he may not be vaccinated yet. But he has assured me that he would make his decision known very soon. Indeed, it would require a lot of thinking through. If Djokovic hopes to win his 21st Grand Slam title, his best bet of doing it is in Australia, where he has won it nine times already. It is obvious the conditions there favour him, and he has a high chance of winning the title next year. But his personal views about vaccination might just keep him away from Melbourne. Australia is one of the few countries making vaccination compulsory for sports players. It is unlikely that vaccination would have to be enforced for the other Grand Slams.
An unverified report floating around suggests that Djokovic might get a medical exemption to excuse himself from getting vaccinated. If that is true, then that is the only way of ensuring we can see him play in Australia.
Written by: Leon Osamor