Novak Djokovic at risk of missing Australian Open with unvaccinated players unlikely to get visa | Tennis News


When asked about Novak Djokovic’s participation, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said: “The virus doesn’t care what your tennis ranking is, or how many Grand Slams you’ve won. It’s completely irrelevant. You need to be vaccinated to keep yourself safe and to keep others safe.”

Last Updated: 19/10/21 7:16am

Novak Djokovic may not be able to defend his Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic may not be able to defend his Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open title defence and bid for the Grand Slam record are in doubt after a government official said unvaccinated players are unlikely to get visas to enter the country.

World No 1 Djokovic, level on 20 Grand Slam titles with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, declined to reveal his vaccination status again this week and said he was unsure if he would defend his Australian Open title as authorities work out COVID-19 restrictions for the tournament.

Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said he doubted any unvaccinated athletes would be allowed into the country, let alone Victoria which hosts the Australian Open in Melbourne.

“I don’t think an unvaccinated tennis player is going to get a visa to come into this country and if they did get a visa they’d probably have to quarantine for a couple of weeks,” Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews told a media briefing.

“I don’t think that the person you indicated (Djokovic) or any other tennis player, let’s not personalise it … or golfer or Formula One driver will even get a visa to get here.

“If I’m wrong I’m sure the federal government will let you know.

“(The virus) doesn’t care what your tennis ranking is, or how many Grand Slams you’ve won. It’s completely irrelevant. You need to be vaccinated to keep yourself safe and to keep others safe.”

Tennis Australia, which organises the Australian Open, did not provide immediate comment.

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday international travel to and from the country would resume from November 1 for citizens and permanent residents, but emphasised “no decision to allow other visa holders” had yet been made.

Tournament organisers had to overcome many obstacles to hold the event this year, with the start date pushed back three weeks and players forced to quarantine for a fortnight on arrival in the country.

Tennis Australia insisted in May the tournament would proceed in January 2022.





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