Australian Open Ambience 2021

Unvaccinated players dealt major Australian Open blow in latest update

Australia’s Victoria state has played down rumours they will do ‘special deals’ with unvaccinated athletes to allow them to play at major events such as the Australian Open, an official said on Tuesday.

World number one Novak Djokovic is one of the players who has refused to reveal his vaccination status and said he was uncertain if he would defend his Australian Open title as authorities discuss restrictions for the event.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said he opposed special arrangements to permit unvaccinated players to compete in the state, which is set to host the Australian Open in January 2022.

“On the question of vaccination, no,” said Andrews.

“(The virus) doesn’t care what your tennis ranking is, or how many Grand Slams you’ve won. It’s completely irrelevant. You need to be vaccinated to keep yourself safe and to keep others safe.”

Andrews has also suggested that the vaccine mandate, covering millions of ‘authorised workers’ will also cover international athletes.

“Professional sport is part of those (items on the) authorised worker list and they have to be double-dose vaccinated,” he said.

“I don’t think an unvaccinated tennis player is going to get a visa to come into this country and if they did get a visa they’d probably have to quarantine for a couple of weeks,” he added.

“I don’t think that the person you indicated (Djokovic) or any other tennis player, let’s not personalise it … or golfer or Formula One driver will even get a visa to get here.

“If I’m wrong I’m sure the federal government will let you know.”

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.