On the sidelines of the 2021 ATP Finals, Novak Djokovic was again asked whether or not he will play the Australian Open 2022. Last week, it became official that he will need to be vaccinated to be able to participate in the first Grand Slam of the season.
The number 1 in the world has always been very evasive on this issue and did not want to reveal his vaccination status. A possible forfeit of the Serbian would be a very hard blow for the Happy Slam, given that Nole has won the last three editions.
The Rod Laver Arena is undoubtedly the favorite court of the 34-year-old from Belgrade, capable of expressing an even more stellar tennis than usual in Melbourne Park. In case of triumph, Djokovic would also overtake his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, hoisting himself to 21 Majors.
The Spaniard should be present at the AOs, while the Swiss will not return to the pitch before summer 2022 (his participation in Wimbledon is also in strong doubt). To the microphones of 'WWOS Radio', Australian legend Todd Woodbridge expressed his point of view on the subject.
Woodbridge opens up on Djokovic
"His team have been well aware of this," 16-time Grand Slam men’s doubles champion Todd Woodbridge said on WWOS radio. Woodbridge added that if Novak Djokovic wants to be seen as the greatest of all time in his sport, January’s Open is not to be missed.
"You can only be the greatest in your era, and he's turning out to be that. I think it's important that he goes on with it," he said. "It may not be the happiest of endings that he's looking for if he doesn't come."
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley stressed that “time is running out” for the Serb if he needs to get vaccinated. "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," he said.
"We've got to still process the visa, and also process the exemption. 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."
Unquestionably, the Serbian World No.1 Novak Djokovic has proved himself as one of the fittest athletes in the world. On the ATP Tour, he frequently gives the representation of the same.