Novak Djokovic played a 2021 to the limits of perfection, in which he touched the legendary finish line of the Grand Slam. After winning the first three Slams of the season, the number 1 in the world also reached the final at the US Open, where he literally collapsed one step away from history.
A physically and mentally blocked Nole surrendered sharply to Daniil Medvedev at Arthur Ashe Stadium, perhaps seeing the dream of winning all four majors in the same year vanish forever. The Serbian champion, who has hooked Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Grand Slams, will try to overtake in 2022.
Meanwhile, the 34-year-old from Belgrade has announced that he will not participate in the upcoming Masters 1000 in Indian Wells. Novak may decide to extend his rest and return directly to the Australian Open 2022, but a problem has arisen in recent days.
The State of Victoria will not discount
The State of Victoria, of which Melbourne is a part, has announced that all professional athletes will have to be fully vaccinated by the end of November in order to be authorized to enter.
Many believe that such a measure could create enormous headaches for the nine-time champion of the tournament, who had expressed some doubts about mandatory vaccination. In a recent press conference, Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews made it clear that Novak Djokovic will not receive any preferential treatment.
"His 20 Grand Slam titles won't exempt him from this rule. Nole - just like everyone else - will be called upon to prove that he is vaccinated against COVID-19. The chances of being allowed entry to unvaccinated people are very, very low," Andrews ruled.
Craig O'Shannessy, a renowned analyst who was part of Djokovic's team between 2017 and 2019, also spoke on the subject. He said: "Novak Djokovic is free to decide whether to get vaccinated or not, it's a personal choice. At the same time, his participation in the Australian Open could depend on this decision."