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TENNIS: Djokovic ‘Unlikely’ To Defend Australian Open Title

Novak Djokovic is unlikely to play at the Australian Open unless rules over Covid-19 vaccinations are relaxed, says his father Srdjan Djokovic.

Unvaccinated players will not be allowed to compete at the 2022 event and defending champion Djokovic, 34, has declined to disclose his status.

“Under these blackmails and conditions, he probably won’t [play],” Srdjan Djokovic told Serb TV.

“I wouldn’t do that. And he’s my son, so you decide for yourself.”

World number one Djokovic has won the Australian Open a record nine times and is level on 20 Grand Slam wins with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Spaniard Nadal says he plans to play at the tournament, which runs from 17-30 January in Melbourne, but Federer will miss the event as he recovers from knee surgery.

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Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has said that 85% of professional players are vaccinated and he expects that figure to be “between 90-95%” by the time of the event at which fans and staff will also be banned if unvaccinated.

“As far as vaccines and non-vaccines are concerned, it is the personal right of each of us whether we will be vaccinated or not,” said Srdjan Djokovic in quotes reported by news website B92 from his interview with Serbia’s TV Prva.

“No-one has the right to enter into our intimacy.”

BBC

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