Since the beginning of the pandemic, Australia has decided to adopt a different strategy from most other countries. The Australian institutions have in fact instituted the lockdown several times to stop small outbreaks in the bud and aim for the “tactic” of zero contagion.
In recent weeks, Melbourne has seen a significant increase in cases and the Victorian government has mandated vaccination for around one million workers, including professional athletes. A choice that could have a strong impact also on the next edition of the Australian Open.
The organizers of the first Grand Slam of the year have long begun to monitor the situation to allow the smooth running of the tournament and now they will have to deal with what could become the first tennis event to impose the vaccine on the participants.
The news was reported by many Italian newspapers, which however elaborated prematurely not entirely truthful evaluations. The question marks on the consequences that the vaccination obligation will entail are in fact numerous.
What concerns the world of tennis, in particular, concerns the possibility that this solution is also extended to athletes from abroad or from other Australian states. Questions that only time will be able to answer. Daniel Andrews, Premier of the State of Victoria, explained: “I do not issue visas or passports, but I think it is highly unlikely that the Commonwealth government will allow anyone who is not fully vaccinated to enter Australia, certainly in the medium term.
This could change over time”. Considering that more than half of the players on the Tour, at least according to some reliable estimates, have not yet received the vaccine, the other big question obviously concerns their presence in Melbourne.
Impossible not to think of Novak Djokovic, who opposed the obligation to vaccinate. The Serbian champion has reiterated several times that his will be a personal choice and that he will not reveal his final decision to the media.
Fontang takes a shot at Novak Djokovic
Felix Auger-Aliassime's coach Frederic Fontang believes Novak Djokovic must improve his on-court behavior given the fact he is a global icon followed by millions. "Novak is the World No.
1 in a global sport; to see him throw his racket at the Olympics is not acceptable, no matter how disappointed he is," Fontang said in a conversation with Welovetennis.com. "He is a star who is watched by the whole world, he must set an example."
The 51-year-old pointed out that Djokovic's ambition was clear to see even during the Serb's formative years. “My first memory about Djokovic goes back a long way: he was a junior and I was taking care of Jérémy Chardy," Fontang said.
"He was already very expressive on the court and very professional off the court. His backhand was also well drilled. You couldn't predict such a career, but it was clear he was ambitious. To answer the question, I would say that his record is unassailable. However, I can understand that some of his reactions are not appreciated."