By the time the Australian Open takes place in January, Craig Tiley, the event director, anticipates up to 95 per cent of players to have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The rigorous vaccination rule in Victoria has prompted players to get their vaccinations before heading to Melbourne Park, where unvaccinated fans and employees will be barred.
“Today, more than 85% of professional players are (vaccinated),” Tiley remarked on local radio station SEN on Thursday.
“And we deserve a lot of credit for that since we made immunisation mandatory.”
“By the time we get to January, we expect 90-95 per cent of people to be vaccinated, because if you’re not, you can’t play.”
When asked about defending his Australian Open title in Melbourne at the ATP Finals, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic declined to reveal his vaccination status, stating that it is a matter of personal choice.
“Novak has won nine Australian Opens, and I’m sure he’d like to make it ten,” Tiley remarked. “Along with Rafa Nadal, who is on his way, and Roger Federer, he has 20 Grand Slam victories.”
“I don’t think Novak would want to leave it to someone else if one of them is going to surpass the other.”
The ATP Cup will be held in Sydney from January 1 to 9, as part of a packed calendar of warm-up events leading up to the Australian Open.
Tennis Australia (TA) also confirmed that Melbourne will host Australian Open qualification from January 10-14, 2021, after COVID-19 forced qualifying to be held elsewhere.
In the lead up to the year’s first Grand Slam, a record 17 events are planned to be held in Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia.
Following the ATP Cup, Sydney will host the one-off Sydney Tennis Classic, which will include a WTA 500 event and an ATP 250 tournament.
From January 2 to 15, Adelaide will host four men’s and women’s tournaments in a row, while Melbourne Park, the Australian Open venue, will hold three more competitions from January 3-9.
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