Ash Barty backs Australian Open decision as Novak Djokovic wait continues

Novak Djokovic celebrates Serbia's WC qualification

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Ash Barty has trusted Australian Open organisers to make the correct decision on whether to let unvaccinated players compete, amid doubts over Novak Djokovic’s chances of playing in this month’s event.

This comes after both leading Australian politicians and tournament organisers stated players wanting to compete at the Grand Slam must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Djokovic however has repeatedly refused to reveal his vaccination status, leading many within the tennis world to think he will be unable to defend the crown he won in 2021.

Ahead of the action this month a number of the sport’s biggest players have shared their views on the controversy including WTA world No. 1 Barty.

And the Australian believes that the trust must be put into the tournament leaders to make the correct call.

She said: “It’s a tricky one for me, because it’s not my decision. We put trust in those people who are making those decisions.

“They have the correct information. That’s what it is – that’s all it is. There’s nothing else to it.”

Whilst the world No. 1 has put her trust into the Australian Open organisers, Barty did reveal she has no problem about competing against players who are unvaccinated.

As a result she admitted that ‘the last thing’ she thinks about when on court is the ‘medical history’ of her opponent.

She added: “That’s the very last thing I’m thinking of when I’m on the court; is the medical history of the player on the opposite side.”

Whilst the decision still remains up in the air, the Australian Open chief executive did reveal this week that he had been informed by a number of players about a medical exemption from the COVID-19 jab.

It remains to be unknown if one of those includes Djokovic, however Tiley did admit that a decision on the Serbian would arrive in the ‘coming days’.

The chief executive said: “As far as the status relates to Novak, we will have a much clearer picture in the coming days. 

“Otherwise, it’s getting pretty late for him to show up and play in the Australian Open.

“What I am aware of is the same as everyone else. Novak’s made it clear that he wouldn’t disclose his medical conditions, or whether or not he’s vaccinated.

“It’s his choice to do that. There’s quite a bit to play out, and it will play out in the coming days.”

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