Novak Djokovic, who refuses to say whether or not he has been vaccinated against Covid-19, will not play the ATP Cup from January 1 to 9 in Sydney, organizers announced on Wednesday. This reinforces the uncertainty about the participation of the Serbian in the Australian Open (January 17-30) …
“World number one Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the ATP Cup 2022. The Serbian team will now be led by world 33rd Dusan Lajovic”, said the organizers in a statement.
The ATP Cup, a nation-wide event organized by the ATP, marks the start of the new season on the men’s circuit. Djokovic, 34, still leaves doubt about his participation in the Australian Open from January 17 to 30, a Grand Slam tournament that he has won nine times, including the last three editions. In the event of another coronation this year, the Serbian would have the possibility of winning his 21st Grand Slam title, thus beating the record he currently co-holds with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
To be allowed to return to Australia and participate in the tournament, players, their entourage and members of their management must be vaccinated. However, Djokovic refuses to say whether he is or not. His father Srdjan said on Serbian television at the end of November that Djokovic would not go ” probably not “ at the Australian Open, denouncing a ” blackmail “ of the organizers.
The Australian Tennis Federation has set up charter flights to allow international players to travel to Melbourne and Sydney to participate in the preparatory tournaments. Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan was among those who landed on Tuesday. Djokovic was not on board. Players also had the option of choosing to travel on a commercial flight.