Novak Djokovic warned ‘it doesn’t matter if you are No 1 you need to be vaccinated’ to compete in Australian Open

Novak Djokovic frustrations

Two Australian ministers have confirmed that tennis players will need to be double vaccinated against the coronavirus to compete in next year’s Australian Open, raising questions about Novak Djokovic’s defence of his title.

Having pushed back this year’s hard-court Grand Slam in order to allow players to quarantine ahead of the tournament, Australia will take a different approach for the 2022 edition.

Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke announced on Wednesday that all visitors, including tennis players, will need to be double vaccinated before being allowed into the country.

It puts doubts over Djokovic’s participation as the world No 1 admitted in 2020 that he “opposed to the vaccination against Covid-19 in order to be able to travel” while earlier this week he refused to reveal if he had been vaccinated.

However, Hawke made it clear that visitors will only be allowed into the country if they have had their two shots against Covid-19.

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

“You’ll need to be double vaccinated to visit Australia. That’s a universal application, not just to tennis players. I mean that every visitor to Australia will need to be double vaccinated,” he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

“I don’t have a message to Novak. I have a message to everybody that wishes to visit Australia. He’ll need to be double vaccinated.”

Australia’s Health Minister Greg Hunt echoed his compatriot’s comments as he also insisted at a press conference that the rules apply to everyone.

“They apply to everyone without fear or favour. It doesn’t matter whether you are No 1 in the world or you are anything else,” he said.