Djokovic Isn’t Going To Miss The Australian Open – Tiley
Novak Djokovic, the nine-time Australian Open champion, will not want to miss out on a record 21st Grand Slam championship, according to tournament director Craig Tiley, who revealed a jam-packed schedule of warm-up tournaments on Thursday.
All players traveling to Australia in January for the year’s first major must be vaccinated against Covid, throwing doubt on the Serbian world number one’s participation.
Djokovic, who is aiming for a record-tying 21st Grand Slam title, has declined to say whether he has been vaccinated.
“He hasn’t notified anyone about his situation,” Tiley told sports radio station SEN.
“He feels that what you say about your medical position is private, and that people should be able to make their own decisions.”
Tiley, however, added: “Novak has nine Australian Open titles under his belt, and I’m sure he’d like to make it ten.
“He has 20 Grand Slam titles, as has Rafa Nadal, who is on his way, and Roger Federer, so one of them will overtake the other.
“Novak isn’t likely to delegate the task to someone else.
“One thing is certain: he is immunized if he is playing here in January.”
When asked if he will defend his title at Melbourne Park, Djokovic stated during the weekend, “we’ll have to wait and see.”
Around 85 percent of players have received the vaccine so far, and Tiley expects that number to rise to 95 to 100 percent by January.
“We deserve a lot of credit for it because we made it mandatory to get vaccinated before coming to Australia,” he said.
His remarks came as the season-opening schedule was announced after multiple delays as organizers figured out what might be played where as Australia gradually loosens state and international borders following extended Covid lockdowns.
After being forced to quarantine in hotels for 14 days, all Australian Open warm-up events were held at Melbourne Park this year in bio-secure conditions.
In 2022, fully vaccinated players should be able to enter Australia without being quarantined or limited to bubbles, with Sydney and Adelaide making a comeback on the calendar.
Brisbane, Perth, and Hobart, which have typically hosted events, as well as Auckland, New Zealand, have been left out for a second year.
“It should come as no surprise to anyone that the pandemic, closed borders, and variable vaccination rates were a significant challenge for us, prompting the reforms,” Tiley added.
“It’s why we waited as long as we could to ensure the best possible conditions for. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.