Novak Djokovic reveals ‘I still don’t know if I will’ play in Australian Open as he vows to stay mum over vaccine status

Australian Open
Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic

Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic admits he is unsure if he will compete in next year’s edition due to the coronavirus vaccination regulations in Melbourne while he has also declined to reveal if he has been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The ball has been thrown back into the court of tennis players after the Victoria premier announced that players who have not been vaccinated are unlikely to be allowed into Australia to compete in the season-opening Grand Slam.

“I don’t think an unvaccinated tennis player is going to get a visa to come into this country and if they did get a visa they’d probably have to quarantine for a couple of weeks,” premier Daniel Andrews said.

Unvaccinated tennis players warned they are unlikely to receive visas for the 2022 Australian Open

Djokovic, who has previously admitted that he is not in favour of vaccine mandates, has come out and admitted that he is not sure if he will travel Down Under while he also refuses to make his vaccine status public.

“Things beings as they are, I still don’t know if I will go to Melbourne,” he told Serbian daily Blic.

“I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not, it is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry.

“People go too far these days in taking the liberty to ask questions and judge a person. Whatever you say ‘Yes, no, maybe, I am thinking about it’, they will take advantage.”

Having been pushed back for three weeks in 2021 to allow players to quarantine, next year’s Australian Open is set to take place in its regular slot, starting on January 17.

Djokovic won the tournament for a third consecutive time in February to take his Melbourne tally to nine and despite his stance, the 20-major winner remains hopeful that a resolution can be found ahead of the 2022 tournament.

“Of course I want to go, Australia is my most successful Grand Slam tournament. I want to compete, I love this sport and I am still motivated,” he said.

“I am following the situation regarding the Australian Open and I understand the final decision [on COVID-related restrictions] will be made in two weeks. I believe there will be a lot of restrictions just like this year, but I doubt there will be too many changes.

“My manager, who is in contact with the Australian Tennis Federation, tells me they are trying to improve the conditions for everyone, both for those who have been vaccinated and those who have not.”

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