Victoria sports minister Martin Pakula advised the ATP and WTA players to get vaccinated so they can arrive to the Australian Open without any problems. A week ago, Victoria Premier Dan Andrews said unvaccinated players likely won't be allowed to participate at the Australian Open.
"If I was an ATP or WTA player, I'd be getting vaccinated," Victoria's sports minister Pakula told SEN. "That will give them the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open with the more minimal restrictions that might be in place for those people."
Unvaccinated players could still be allowed to play the Australian Open
Even if allowed to play the Australian Open, unvaccinated players wouldn't enjoy the same benefits as vaccinated players. "Whether or not unvaccinated people are allowed in (to Australia) at all, I don't know the answer to that yet," Pakula said.
"That's going to be the subject, I suspect, of discussion at national cabinet and amongst the federal cabinet. "As for the rules that might apply around the Australian Open, specifically, we're in discussions with Tennis Australia and the department of health about that."
Defending champion Novak Djokovic could find himself in a tough position. "I'm opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel," Djokovic said in April 2020.
Australian tennis legend Todd Woodbridge would be shocked if Djokovic missed the Australian Open due to his vaccination status. "With so much on the line for Novak, you've got to think that he's seriously going to think about it ...
he's tied at 20 with Roger and Rafa for Grand Slam titles and he wants to take that over and spread that gap," Woodbridge said. "Coming to the tournament that he's won so much, you've got to think he's seriously thinking about doing it. It would be a shock to me if he doesn't come to Australia."