'Novak Djokovic will need to be vaccinated to compete in Melbourne,' says minister

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'Novak Djokovic will need to be vaccinated to compete in Melbourne,' says minister

The nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will have to take two vaccination shots if he wants to compete at the next year's Australian Open. Australian minister for immigration Alex Hawke confirmed the news on Wednesday, saying that every player must be fully vaccinated to enter Australia and compete in Melbourne.

Novak is currently in Belgrade, preparing for the season's final Masters 1000 event in Paris. A couple of days ago, he declined to reveal his vaccination status and said he is unsure if he would defend his Australian Open crown and chase the tenth crown at the beloved Major.

Novak has had an incredible 2021 season, winning 27 out of 28 matches at Majors and barely missing the first calendar Grand Slam since 1969. Also, the Serb caught Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Major titles, wishing to pass the great rivals in the future but not at any cost.

Novak has been the greatest player in the Australian Open history, claiming nine titles and enjoying playing in front of the Aussie crowd. Novak had to deal with an abdominal injury since the third round this February, surviving all the obstacles and lifting the trophy for the ninth time.

Novak Djokovic will have to take vaccine to play the Australian Open.

Djokovic injured his stomach against Taylor Fritz in the third round, winning that one in five sets and playing extended encounters against Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev to find himself in the semis.

Feeling better, the Serb ousted Aslan Karatsev and toppled Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in the title clash to defend the title and secure an 18th Major crown. Novak stood as a player to beat at Roland Garros and Wimbledon to extend his dominance and chase an ultimate tennis glory at the US Open.

Djokovic beat four straight opponents after losing an opening set in New York before falling to Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the title clash, falling under pressure and failing to repeat what Rod Laver achieved in 1969.

"You'll need to be double vaccinated to visit Australia. That's a universal application, not just to tennis players. I mean that every visitor to Australia will need to be double vaccinated. I do not have a message for Novak.

I have a message for everybody that wishes to visit Australia. He'll need to be double vaccinated," Alex Hawke told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.