We'll see: Novak Djokovic on his Australian Open participation amid vaccine mandate
- Tennis Australia's chief said that player participating in Australian Open will have to be vaccinated
- Now that I know, we’ll just have to wait and see, Novak Djokovic said
- Djokovic, a nine-time Australian Open winner, has previously criticised vaccine mandates
World No 1 Novak Djokovic dodged an Australian Open question during his ATP Finals post-match conference. This comes after Tennis Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Craig Tiley said that players participating in the Australian Open will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
When asked about his participation, Djokovic said: "We’ll see."
When asked further, the Serbian added: "I haven’t been talking to them [the organisers]. I was just waiting to hear what the news is going to be. Now that I know, we’ll just have to wait and see."
Djokovic, a nine-time Australian Open winner, has on numerous occasions criticised vaccine mandates. Earlier this week, he said: "The freedom of choice is essential for everyone, whether it’s me or somebody else. Doesn’t really matter whether it’s vaccination or anything else in life. You should have the freedom to choose – in this particular case, what you want to put in your body."
Alexander Zverev, who beat Djokovic 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 in their Turin semi-final, said that he is hopeful that the reigning champion will be able to play at Melbourne Park.
“This is a very tough one because it’s very political,” Zverev said.
“But we are visiting another country. This is not about tennis. This is about the virus that is going on. We need to follow the rules and follow the guidelines,” he added.
“I hope he’s able to play. I’m No 3 in the world so, if he doesn’t play, it’s easier to win the tournament. This is obvious!” the German added. “Also he’s No 1 in the world so he should be there. Hopefully, the Australian government will make an exemption … for him to be able to participate there.”
After beating Djokovic and ending his dreams of a golden slam at the Tokyo Olympics, returned to haunt him and beat him in the ATP Finals semis. He will now play Daniil Medvedev in the final.
Preparations for the competition that is set to take place in the 2022 season are already underway in Melbourne. The Australian Open will be the first grand slam of the upcoming season.