Novak Djokovic Australian Open 2021

Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open hopes boosted by possible change of plans

Novak Djokovic may play at the Australian Open regardless of his Covid-19 vaccination status as Tennis Australia explore ways to bypass travel bans.

The World number one has previously refused to commit to his participation at the Australian Open until official vaccination rules have been set. Such a stance comes amidst the ongoing confusion and contradiction amongst Australian politicians.

However, Djokovic may be permitted to play at the ‘Happy Slam’ regardless of his vaccination status as Tennis Australia are exploring potentially moving the ATP Cup from Melbourne, Victoria to Sydney, New South Wales.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Tennis Australia are looking at the possibility of holding all the lead-up tournaments prior to the Australian Open in Sydney, including the ATP Cup.

The ATP Cup will be held at the start of January and should it be moved to Sydney, it would allow unvaccinated players to fly to the state of New South Wales to complete their mandatory hotel quarantine before then travelling down to Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open, which starts on the 17th January.

This change of venue acts as a loophole to bypass the direct travel bans into Melbourne for those who are unvaccinated.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has made it abundantly clear that he will not be making any exceptions for unvaccinated players. Although the New South Wales minister for tourism Stuart Ayres sounded more receptive.

“Marquee sporting events like the ATP Cup are important to New South Wales for the significant boost they provide to our state’s visitor economy.

“The ATP Cup attracts the world’s best tennis players, officials and their supporters to the Greater Sydney area, who stay in our hotels, visit our attractions, and spend in our retail stores, restaurants, bars and cafes,” Ayres told the Herald.

“It has been a challenging year for Sydney, but we have made swift progress following the New South Wales Government’s COVID-19 reopening roadmap.

“As we continue on our path to reopening we know events like the ATP Cup will play a vital role in our social and economic recovery.”

Ultimately, Tennis Australia are expected to announce their summer schedule by the end of the week.

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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.