The Serbian superstar who is the world number one tennis player has been included in the entry for the 2022 Australian Open. This was announced by the Grand Slam organizers on Wednesday afternoon.
COVID-19: Novak Djokovic's inclusion in Australian Open sparks concern over vaccination uncertainty
Novak Djokovic has been ranked as top seed at the upcoming Australian Open amidst uncertainty over his vaccination status.
The controversial announcement was immediately followed by massive concerns about the tennis star's Covid-19 vaccination status after the Australian government mandated that every athlete participating in the tournament championship must be vaccinated.
The statement released by the Australian Open organizers noted that Djokovic will start as the favorite to defend his title as he chases a record breaking 21st grand slam title.
Djokovic's participation in the Australian open, slated to hold in January 2022, had already been in doubt since his interview with German tabloid, Blic where he stated that he was unsure if he would travel to Melbourne, insisting he will not reveal his vaccination status because it was a thing of "private matter" to the player.
Even hours after the controversial announcement last week ,the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews confirmed that no special exemptions will be made for visiting players with regards to the vaccine mandate.
The 34 year old was also earlier this week, named in the Serbian team to play in the ATP Cup in Sydney, a tournament which would take place a few days before the Grand Slam event.
In light of these recent developments, it remains unclear how the tennis world no.1 would be allowed to participate in the two tournaments let alone enter Australia having not yet disclosed his vaccination status publicly.
Some news reports suggested Djokovic might capitalize on a loophole in the vaccination mandate that allows him to seek a “medical exemption.”
However, Tennis Australia have since denied such reports and also shut down any attempts at seeking loopholes on behalf of participating players and the Victorian government have strongly pushed back against any of such ideas.