Melbourne: Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1 tennis player, is "likely" to skip the Australian Open, which starts on January 17 next year, because his father Srdjan believes the tournament's decision to ban unvaccinated players - or players who don't share their Covid-19 vaccination status — amounts to "blackmail."
Djokovic is keeping the organisers of the Australian Open and his supporters guessing about his Covid-19 immunisation status, adding to the uncertainty over whether he will compete in the year's first major. Only fully immunised players will be able to compete in the Australian Open, according to Craig Tiley, the tournament's director. Djokovic, the nine-time Australian Open champion, has remained tight-lipped about his vaccination status and whether or not he plans to get vaccinated before the tournament.
"Djokovic has not communicated his position with anyone," Tiley remarked recently. Srdjan Djokovic claimed that his participation in the opening major of 2022 will "depend on how they (organisers) position themselves" in tennis interview with Serbian television show TV Prva, which was afterwards reported in English by B92. Srdjan added of Novak's appearance in Melbourne, "He would want it with all his heart because he's an athlete, and we would enjoy that too."