Tennis Tournament: Novak Djokovic, the world number one, has withdrawn from the Serbia team for the ATP Cup in Sydney, placing more doubt on his participation in the Australian Open.
“World number 33 Dusan Lajovic will now lead Team Serbia,” the team event’s organisers announced in a statement.
Djokovic’s participation in the tournament and the Australian Open, which begins on January 17, has sparked significant speculation, with the 34-year-old Serbian consistently declining to declare if he has been vaccinated against Covid-19.
All athletes must be vaccinated against the coronavirus or have a medical exemption authorised by an independent panel of experts, according to the Australian Open organisers.
“Everyone that is coming in gets vaccinated,” tournament director Craig Tiley told the media in Melbourne earlier this month. “There will be a small fraction – a very small number – that will receive a medical exemption.”
“So, if any player, fan, or member of the workforce is on-site, you’re either vaccinated or have a medical exemption that has been approved, and you’re on the Australian Immunisation Register.” This ensures our safety and adds to our comfort on the job.
“Either Novak will be immunised or will have a medical exemption if he shows up at the Australian Open.” It’s his choice to keep his medical issue private and personal, just like any of us would do with whatever disease we may or may not have.
“We’re not going to compel him to say anything or ask him to say anything.”
Rafael Nadal, who is presently isolated with coronavirus while he considers his return to the circuit after a foot ailment, is expected to be in Melbourne, according to STiley.
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