Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic ‘probably won’t’ play at Australian Open amidst vaccination ‘blackmail’, father reveals

Srdjan Djokovic, Novak Djokovic’s father, has slammed Australian politicians “giving themselves the right to criticise Djokovic” as “embarrassing” and feels his son has been “blackmailed.”

It was announced last week that players who wish to compete in the Australian Open will be required to be double-vaccinated as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on.

Enwrapped at the heart of this situation is 20-time Grand Slam champion and nine-time Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic. Djokovic had previously stated that he would wait for official rules to be announced before revealing his plans, but has since said “we will have to wait and see.”

With Djokovic potentially missing out due to Covid-19 vaccinations and Roger Federer missing out due to injury, Rafael Nadal could be provided with an opportunity to overtake both and become the first male player to reach 21 Grand Slam titles.

Djokovic’s father Srdjan told Serbian television network TV Prva that he doesn’t think his son will feature at the ‘Happy Slam,’ saying “under these blackmails and conditions, he probably won’t [play].

Srdjan echoed his son’s thoughts regarding compulsory vaccinations, saying “as far as vaccines and non-vaccines are concerned, it is the personal right of each of us whether we will be vaccinated or not. Everyone has the right to decide for their own health.

“Will he reveal whether he is vaccinated or not? I don’t think so, and I don’t know his decision either. And even if I did, I wouldn’t share it with you.

“He has the right to decide as he sees fit. But given this blackmail and these conditions, Novak will probably not play the Australian Open.

“It was embarrassing because of the announcement of those leaders in the provinces of Australia, who gave themselves the right to call out the nine-time champion of Australia.

“Whether he will appear there depends on them how they (Tennis Australia) will pose. He would want it with all his heart because he is an athlete, and we would love that too.

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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.