The health restrictions recently announced by the Australian government have cast doubt on Novak Djokovic's participation in the first Grand Slam of 2022. Unlike what was said last week, it seems that unvaccinated players will be admitted to the country, but will have to undergo two weeks of quarantine lasts (without even the opportunity to train).
The world number 1 has confided that his presence at the Australian Open is far from certain, avoiding to reveal whether or not he has received the vaccine against COVID-19. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has not played an official match since the final of the US Open, which was clearly lost to Daniil Medvedev.
That defeat cost him the chance to win the 'Calendar Grand Slam' and overtake eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The 34-year-old Serbian will return to action at Paris-Bercy, which he will use as a preparation meeting for the ATP Finals and Davis Cup finals.
In a recent conversation on the Tennis Channel, Tracy Austin said Nole's eventual absence in Melbourne wouldn't surprise her.
Tracy Austin opens up on Djokovic
"He's (Novak Djokovic) going for 21, the tiebreaking 21, but I guess not getting the vaccination could be more important," Tracy Austin said in a recent conversation with Tennis Channel.
The World No. 1 has been tight-lipped about his vaccination status throughout the pandemic, leading many - including the two-time US Open champion Tracy Austin - to believe he is yet to get the jab. "For me? I don't know (if we will see Novak Djokovic at the 2022 Australian Open)," Tracy Austin added.
"I mean you've got to get the jab to go over there apparently and he says he doesn't want to tell us whether he's gotten the jab. And it seems like to me, if you're not telling us then he probably hasn't."
The former World No. 1 also highlighted that quarantine would be tougher to digest for unvaccinated players, given that vaccinated players wouldn't have the same restrictions. "He's (Novak Djokovic) spoken out adamantly that he does not want to get vaccinated," Austin said.
"I guess you would still have the opportunity to go over there and quarantine. I mean that's gonna be very tough this year because 2021 everyone was in quarantine, but now the players that have gotten vaccinated wouldn't have to spend time there."
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was sailing effortlessly through Grand Slam events this season. The Serbian ace won the first three Majors of the season. He looked likely to complete the Calendar Slam at the final Grand Slam of the season.