Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has announced that unvaccinated players will not be allowed to compete at Melbourne Park and added that he is hoping to see world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the opening Grand Slam of the season.
Djokovic, a record nine-time Australian Open champion, has been adamant in refusing to reveal his vaccination status because he considers it a private matter. The Australian Open representatives have been in touch with Djokovic as they are hoping it won't come down to the Serb missing the opening Grand Slam of the season.
“We have been speaking to Novak and his team and they understand clearly that in order to come and play in the Australian Open they need to be fully vaccinated,” Tiley said. “They know that it’s a condition for everyone, not just the players, but the fans and all the staff and he had indicated that it’s a private decision for him and at the right time he will tell us.
“I know that he wants to play, he’s clearly indicated that and he knows the conditions that he would have to undergo in order to be eligible to play”.
Victoria Premier didn't want to grant an exception to Djokovic
Premier Daniel Andrews was the force behind banning unvaccinated players from playing at the Australian Open and previously he made it clear there would be no exemptions for anyone -- including Djokovic.
“It’s been made very clear, when the premier announced several weeks ago that in order to participate at the Australian Open, to come into Victoria, you’ll need to be fully vaccinated,” Tiley said.
“Immediately we communicated that to the playing group. It is the one direction that you take that can ensure everyone’s safety. “All the playing group understands it. Our patrons will need to be vaccinated, all the staff working the Australian Open will need to be vaccinated, when you’re in a state where there is more than 90 percent of the population fully vaccinated, it’s the right thing to do”.