Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Official confirmation: Novak Djokovic withdraws from ATP Cup putting Australian Open participation in doubt

World no.1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Serbian ATP Cup team increasing the chances that he won’t try to defend his 2021 title at the Australian Open

The Serbian and world no.1 Novak Djokovic has decided not to represent his home country in the first official ATP event of the 202 season in Australia, the ATP Cup. This will increase the likelihood of him not competing in the first Grand Slam of of 2022 at the Australian Open.

The decision will add to the discussion over the Serbs vaccination status. So far Djokovic has refused to deny or confirm that he is yet to be vaccinated against COVID 19, which is a stipulation of any player wanting to compete in Sydney.

The Australian Open director Craig Tiley has been very clear in his communication over what Djokovic must prove to be able to play, saying: “if any player, fan [or] workforce is on site here, you’re either vaccinated or you have a medical exemption that’s approved and you’re on the Australian Immunisation Register. That provides us with safety and an extra level of comfort on site. If Novak shows up at the Australian Open, he’ll either be vaccinated or he’ll have a medical exemption.”

Many commentators have also noted that even if Djokovic were to have been vaccinated against COVID, by not competing in the ATP Cup he wouldn’t be able to earn the match practise he normally enjoys in advance of a title bid at a Grand Slam event.

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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.