World number one Novak Djokovic has been selected for the Serbian squad for the ATP Cup, which will open the tennis season in Sydney in January (1-9). It was the organizers who announced the news on Tuesday morning, after many questions about the Serbian coming to Australia. The tournament is the curtain-raiser of the Australian Open, which the world number 1 is still not sure to play.
The winner of 20 Grand Slam tournaments does indeed cast doubt on his participation, refusing to say if he is vaccinated, a condition imposed for any entry into the country. In the press release announcing the draw for the ATP Cup, Djokovic is on the contrary well in the list of five players presented by Serbia. This competition between sixteen nations will take place from January 1 to 9, ahead of the Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne (January 17-30).
After his side’s Davis Cup loss last week, the 34-year-old Serbian promised a decision ” very soon “ as for his participation in the Australian Open, whose organizers had confirmed that no exemption from the vaccination obligation would be made.
The player’s father said on Serbian TV last month that his son “Probably wouldn’t play” in Australia “Under these conditions, with this blackmail, and when it is done this way”. Djokovic contracted Covid-19 without showing symptoms, in June 2020, during the Adria Tour tournament he was organizing in the Balkan peninsula. His arrival at the ATC Cup could therefore prefigure participation in the Grand Slam tournament …
Rafael Nadal is not part of the Spanish squad, after suggesting last month that he would take part in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi and then another tournament before arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open.
The only other absent among the top 20 players in the world is the injured Swiss Roger Federer. Defending champions Russia will again be led by Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev.