Home Tennis Australian Open – Covid-19 – “We’ll see”: Unvaccinated, Novak Djokovic with his back to the wall for Melbourne

Australian Open – Covid-19 – “We’ll see”: Unvaccinated, Novak Djokovic with his back to the wall for Melbourne

by archysport

It was not the best Saturday of Novak Djokovic’s life. Beaten in the semifinals of the Masters by an amazing Alexander Zverev (7-6, 4-6, 6-3) in the evening, the world number one will not equal the record for titles in the Masters tournament, still held alone by Roger Federer with six wins. But it is perhaps another record hunt that is threatened for the Serbian champion, that of the 21st Grand Slam to overtake the Swiss and Rafael Nadal. The next event, the Australian Open, could well be held without “Nole”.

Tournament boss Craig Tiley confirmed on Saturday that only players fully vaccinated against Covid-19 would be allowed to come to Melbourne. There will be no exemption or special arrangement with constraints in the form of quarantine when arriving at the antipodes. “There is a lot of speculation about vaccination and to be absolutely clear, when the Prime Minister (of the State of Victoria, Editor’s note) announced that everyone on the site should be vaccinated, we let the players know“said Craig Tiley.

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I haven’t spoken to them yet, to be honest

Consequently, the players who will not be vaccinated will have to stay at home. Less than 20% of the Top 100 members of the ATP ranking are in this case. Among them the most eminent of them, Novak Djokovic. It is common knowledge, the Serbian champion never wanted to be vaccinated. But the stance it seems final from the organizers and the Australian authorities clearly increases the pressure on Djokovic, nine times winner and three-time defending champion at Melbourne Park. The threat had been diffuse so far, but the noose was tightening dangerously for him.

Asked to react to Craig Tiley’s words on Saturday night after his elimination, Djokovic was evasive. “I haven’t spoken to them (the organizers) yet, to be honest, he confided. I was waiting to have precise information. Now that I know, we’ll just wait. We’ll see, we’ll just wait and see.”

Now, except very unlikely turnaround, Novak Djokovic has only two solutions in front of him: the vaccine or the package. This is certainly not the scenario he expected, but the principle of reality is imposed on him. “We would like to see Novak here, assured Craig Tiley. He said he considered this (the vaccine) to be a private matter. He knows he will have to be vaccinated to play here“. The ball is in his court.

Against Zverev, Djokovic won the point of the match (and possibly the week)

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