Novak Djokovic: 'It was a massive impetus for how...'



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Novak Djokovic: 'It was a massive impetus for how...'

The Australian Open's COVID-19 vaccine mandate is to protect the community, not to "blackmail" Novak Djokovic, a state government official said Wednesday. The organizers of the first Grand Slam of the year have said that all players would have to be vaccinated to participate, prompting criticism from the world's number one Djokovic's father.

"Under these blackmails and conditions, (Djokovic) probably won't (he will play)," Srdjan Djokovic told Serbian media. Victorian Sports Minister Martin Pakula said the vaccination mandate applied to all athletes in the southern Australian state, which is hosting the Australian Open in Melbourne.

"If you are a visiting international tennis player, or a visiting athlete of any kind, it is your responsibility to the community you are being welcomed into," Pakula told Australian media. "And that is why we ask those international tennis stars to follow the same requirements as the Victorians.

This is not blackmail, but to make sure the Victorian community is protected," he continued. "I want to make it clear that I hope Novak Djokovic gets vaccinated and plays the Australian Open. But if he decides not to, that's his business," he concluded.

Djokovic has won nine titles at Melbourne Park, including this year's tournament, and shares the record of 20 men's Grand Slams with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. He has refused to reveal his vaccination status, saying it was a matter of personal choice.

It will be necessary to see what happens and if the number one in the world can go to Australia to try to revalidate the title.

Djokovic is a living legend

Novak Djokovic and Co. suffered a narrow 1-2 defeat against Germany at the 2021 Davis Cup Finals.

Doubles specialists Tim Puetz and Kevin Krawietz emerged as heroes for the German side as they edged past Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic in the deciding rubber. "It was a springboard for winning three grand slam tournaments in 2011 and then becoming the world number one.

My passion to play in the Davis Cup is not just unrelenting, it’s only growing as I get older. Every generation I’ve been a part of has been a great group on and off the court," Djokovic said. "I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the team that won the 2010 Davis Cup title.

I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life," he continued. "Winning the Davis Cup was special because it was a massive impetus for how my individual career developed”.