Alexander Zverev Cincinnati Open 2021

Zverev ‘hopes’ for Djokovic vaccine exemption at Australian Open

Alexander Zverev “hopes an exemption is made” for World number one Novak Djokovic after Covid-19 vaccines were made mandatory for entry to the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic had previously stated that he was waiting for official rules to be announced before committing to the Australian Open, although now vaccines have officially been made mandatory, Djokovic said “we’ll have to wait and see.”

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said in an interview with The Today Show that “it is the one direction that you take, that you can ensure everyone’s safety. It’s the right thing to do.

“We would love to see Novak (Djokovic) here [but] he knows he has to be vaccinated in order to play.”

Zverev is a good friend of Djokovic and hopes the Australian Open’s defending champion will be allowed to play at Melbourne Park, but remained respectful of Victoria’s right to set their own tournament regulations.

Speaking in a press conference after beating Djokovic in the ATP Finals semi-finals, Zverev said “this is a very tough one because it’s very political.

“We are visiting another country. This is not about tennis. This is about the virus (Covid-19) that is going on. We need to follow the rules and follow the guidelines.”

“I hope he’s able to play. I’m number three in the world so, if he doesn’t play, it’s easier to win the tournament. This is obvious,” Zverev joked.

“Also he’s number one in the world so he should be there. Hopefully the Australian government will make an exemption for him to be able to participate there.”

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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.