Novak Djokovic still waiting for a decision on Australian Open after ATP Cup withdrawal
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Defending champion Novak Djokoivic is still said to be ‘waiting for a decision’ regarding his spot at the Australian Open, after the Serbian pulled out of the ATP Cup in Sydney this week.
Djokovic’s chances of competing in the opening Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne have been in the air for some time, after the Serbian has repeatedly refused to disclose his COVID-19 vaccination status.
As a result, organisers of the Australian Open have made it clear that all players wishing to compete in January’s tournament must be fully vaccinated against the virus, or be medically exempt from the jab.
This has therefore led to many believing that Djokovic will in fact be unable to defend the title he won in 2021, and his withdrawal from this week’s ATP Cup is yet another indication he will not be in Melbourne come the 17th of January.
The world No 1 was set to join up with his Serbian teammates in Sydney for the event, but has since withdrawn.
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Djokovic’s fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic has admitted he is unsure as to why the tennis great has pulled out.
Ahead of the ATP Cup world No. 33 Lajovic was asked why Djokovic was absent from the Serbian team, to which he replied: “I don’t know the official reason. Maybe the ATP knows.”
The Serbian went on to reveal that during his conversation with the world No. 1, Djokovic admitted he was still unsure on whether he would be able to defend his Grand Slam crown in three weeks’ time.
He added: “I mean, the decision, he said, ‘I’m not coming, guys, to the ATP Cup. We’ll see about the Australian Open’.
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“He didn’t specify if he’s coming or not but that he’s waiting for a decision.”
One man who will be in Sydney and Melbourne for the next two events is world No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas missed out on his first ever Grand Slam title earlier this year, as he lost to Djokovic in the final of the French Open in June.
Discussing the potential absence of his Roland Garros finale opponent in Australia, the Greek commented: “If he thinks he’s not ready to play here for whatever reason, it’s his choice.
“I think most of the players respect his choice. He has the freedom to choose. The rules are rules, and the rules are established for a certain purpose and the reason.
“So there are certain parameters that have to be followed in order to make certain things happen. So if some players decide not to follow them, it’s their choice. I wouldn’t say it’s right or wrong here.”
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