Australian Open boss explains why Novak Djokovic will badly want to play in Melbourne

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Australian Open boss explains why Novak Djokovic will badly want to play in Melbourne

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley insists Novak Djokovic "would like nothing more" than to play at the Australian Open. On Saturday, the Australian Open confirmed players who want to compete at Melbourne Park will have to be fully vaccinated.

Djokovic refused to reveal his vaccination and confirm his participation at the Australian Open. "I know he wants to be here, he'd like nothing more," Tiley said, per WWOS. "He doesn't want to start the year without the opportunity to win all four Grand Slams - that's enough motivation.

"So the question is going to be: where is he at with his vaccination status?"

Tiley absolutely hopes Djokovic plays

"At the end of the day, you want to give everyone the best possible chance to get in, and to do it within the parameters which we can," Tiley added.

"We've got to still process the visa, and also process the exemption." There is a chance that Djokovic is vaccinated but many doubt that's the case. "Time is running out, and obviously you can get one vaccination - the Johnson & Johnson shot - but if you need a double vaccination, that window between the two vaccines is really closing," Tiley noted.

Djokovic is a record nine-time Australian Open champion and he has won the tournament's past three editions. Former world No. Andy Roddick believes Djokovic skipping the Australian Open would be a major boost to the chances of Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen with Australia,” Roddick said on Tennis Channel. “Nobody knows except Novak what he’s going to do and if he’s going to play the game the way it has to be played to participate in Australia.

“If he doesn’t, opportunity’s knocking for Medvedev, Zverev, Rafa’s going to be foaming at the mouth to get there and get to that 21st Slam so these other guys, they have to play their tournament either way”.

Australian Open Novak Djokovic