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Sport Novak Djokovic's Grand Slam bid could be derailed past Australian Open after ATP warning

17:30  26 october  2021
17:30  26 october  2021 Source:   express.co.uk

Novak Djokovic told to get Covid vaccine before Australian Open as Serb faces possible ban

  Novak Djokovic told to get Covid vaccine before Australian Open as Serb faces possible ban Novak Djokovic's campaign for a record 21st Major at next year's Australian Open could be in threat if he fails to get vaccinated in time.Djokovic is already the favourite to lift the title in Melbourne at the beginning of next year.

Novak Djokovic may find life on tour difficult beyond the Australian Open if he doesn't get vaccinated. The ATP Tour has warned players who aren't double jabbed that competing in events next year will be tough and come with harsher restrictions. It comes after talks of a vaccine mandate for the opening Grand Slam tournament of the 2022 season.

Djokovic has been in doubt for next year's season-opening Grand Slam as Australian government ministers look to implement a vaccine mandate.

The world No 1 has been outspoken against mandatory vaccinations on the tennis tour, and recently admitted he may not travel to Melbourne for the Australian Open as he refuses to disclose his vaccination status.

Novak Djokovic could play Australian Open despite vaccine stance according to leaked email

  Novak Djokovic could play Australian Open despite vaccine stance according to leaked email A leaked email sent by the WTA Players Council confirms that Tennis Australia is currently planning to allow unvaccinated players to compete in the Australian Open, though they will need to undergo a 14-day hotel quarantine.Djokovic has been in doubt to compete in the first Grand Slam of 2022, as Australian government ministers look to introduce a vaccine mandate.

If Djokovic did miss the first Grand Slam of 2022, he would not be able to compete for a record 21st Major title, but would have the opportunity to make history again later in the year.

However, the ATP Tour has now communicated with players to warn them that unvaccinated players will be looking at more obstacles to entering and playing in tournaments.

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Novak Djokovic could face tough restrictions all year if he does not get vaccinated © Getty Novak Djokovic could face tough restrictions all year if he does not get vaccinated

In an email sent to players and coaches, revealed by Tennis Majors, the Tour "strongly recommend" players get fully vaccinated.

While the ATP Tour ruled out making vaccines mandatory, they will be 'supporting' governments and local public health authorities who make vaccination mandatory, and told players to expect many countries and airlines to do the same.

Novak Djokovic will give 'more importance' to vaccine stance over winning Australian Open

  Novak Djokovic will give 'more importance' to vaccine stance over winning Australian Open Novak Djokovic could either face a ban from the Australian Open, or be forced to undergo a two-week 'hard' quarantine if he is not vaccinated.Djokovic's Australian Open chances have been in doubt for several weeks, as he admitted he was unsure whether he would compete amid talks of a vaccine mandate.

Tennis Majors also revealed restrictions for unvaccinated players outlined by the ATP for both the ATP Tour and the ATP Challenger Tour, including:

  • Unvaccinated players will be subject to more testing than their vaccinated counterparts.

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  • Unvaccinated players may have to contribute to the cost of the additional testing.
  • Vaccinated players will continue to be exempt from being called a close contact when someone close to them tests positive.
  • Unvaccinated players who test positive for Covid-19 before an event, or who are deemed a close contact of someone who tests positive - and have to withdraw - will not receive "prize money compensation".
  • The cost for isolation after a positive Covid-19 test will not be paid by the ATP.
  • Transport for unvaccinated players may be increasingly restricted.
Novak Djokovic will be hoping he can defend his Australian Open crown © Getty Novak Djokovic will be hoping he can defend his Australian Open crown

The ATP added: "We hope this update helps inform any decisions players are looking to make related to vaccination in the coming weeks."

Novak Djokovic still facing Australian Open ban as Victoria Premier refuses to back down

  Novak Djokovic still facing Australian Open ban as Victoria Premier refuses to back down Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has doubled down on his view that unvaccinated players will not receive a visa to play the Australian Open.Djokovic was already the favourite to win the Australian Open in January, and would make history if he won the title, which could give him a record 21 Grand Slam singles titles for a male player.

It comes after a leaked email sent from the WTA Players Council to players on the WTA Tour revealed that Australian Open organisers were hopeful unvaccinated players could compete if they underwent a two-week 'hard' hotel quarantine.

However, Australian newspaper The Age said the leaked email could become a "setback" in plans to allow unvaccinated players into the country.

The ATP also told players they would give more updates about restrictions for the Australian Open when the government and tournament organisers confirm their plans.

Novak Djokovic explains why he felt relieved after US Open final loss .
The world No 1 opened up on feeling pressure unlike anything he had experienced before when attempting to complete the Calendar Grand Slam at the recent US Open, where he was defeated by Daniil Medvedev.Djokovic was the heavy favourite to lift the title in New York.

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