Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Six-time Grand Slam champion says Novak Djokovic must “follow the rules” amidst vaccine uncertainty

Former World number one Boris Becker “can’t imagine” Novak Djokovic not competing at the Australian Open and says he needs to “follow the vaccination rules.”

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley announced that players will be required to be vaccinated if they wish to compete in the ‘Happy Slam’. This decision comes after much deliberation between Australian politicians.

World number one and 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic has remained reluctant to commit to the Australian Open as he is yet to declare his Covid-19 vaccination status. Djokovic previously said he would wait for official rules to be announced before making a final decision.

Djokovic’s former coach Becker told Das Gelbe vom Ball, Eurosport Germany’s podcast, that he agrees with Djokovic’s vaccination stance but can’t imagine a situation where Djokovic misses the Australian Open, saying he needs to follow the rules in order to play.

“I can’t imagine that he won’t play in Australia. He loves the sport too much for that, he loves tennis history too much for that.

“He wants to reach the 21 Grand Slam wins. Australia is his best Grand Slam. He has already won nine times there. Why shouldn’t he win a 10th time?

“He says it is his personal decision whether to get vaccinated or not. It is nobody’s business. I’m with him on that.

“But if he wants to play on the tennis tour – and we’re also having this discussion about Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich football player) – then you just have to follow the rules. That means you have to be vaccinated in order to play.

“That applies to Djokovic, that applies to Kimmich and that applies to every athlete who is at home in their respective sport.”

Djokovic will play at the upcoming Davis Cup where he will represent Serbia in his final tournament of the competitive season.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.