SYDNEY: Novak Djokovic may just nonetheless play on the Australian Open, a Serbian teammate stated Thursday, regardless of the arena primary’s last-minute choice to tug out of the ATP Cup in Sydney. The 20-time Grand Slam champion withdrew from this week’s groups match days ahead of its get started on Saturday, heightening doubts over whether or not he’ll protect his Australian Open identify. Djokovic has refused to substantiate if he has been inoculated towards Covid-19, with all individuals on the opening Grand Slam of the 12 months desiring to be vaccinated or have a clinical exemption.
Dusan Lajovic, who will lead Serbia’s ATP Cup force in Djokovic’s absence, stated his teammate sought after to be in Sydney. “Sadly he’s no longer ready to come back right here, however, , he was once I feel hoping, identical as we did, that one way or the other he’ll be right here. Sadly he’s no longer, and we’ve were given to take care of it,” he stated. “I don’t know the legit reason why. Perhaps the ATP is aware of. He simply stated that he’s no longer coming to the ATP and looking to get to the Australian Open.”
Pressed on whether or not Djokovic can be at Melbourne Park, Lajovic stated: “I imply, the verdict, he stated, ‘I’m no longer coming, guys,’ to the ATP Cup. We’ll see concerning the Australian Open. “He didn’t specify if he’s coming or no longer however that he’s looking ahead to a choice.” It isn’t transparent what that call is, but when he had been to use for a clinical exemption it will be assessed via an unbiased panel of professionals and stay confidential.
On the other hand, executive officers in Victoria state, which hosts the Australian Open, had been adamant for months that best vaccinated avid gamers can play the event from Jan 17-30. “They’re the principles. Scientific exemptions are simply that – it’s no longer a loophole for privileged tennis avid gamers,” the state’s Deputy Premier James Merlino stated this month.
‘It’s his selection’
Global quantity 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who will open Greece’s ATP Cup towards Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz on Saturday, stated he revered no matter choice Djokovic made. “If he thinks he’s no longer in a position to play right here for no matter reason why, it’s his selection. I feel many of the avid gamers recognize his selection. He has the liberty to make a choice,” he stated. Requested whether or not he felt the principles to play the Australian Open had been too tricky, he spoke back: “The foundations are laws, and the principles are established for a undeniable function and reason why. “So if some avid gamers come to a decision to not observe them, it’s their selection. I wouldn’t say it’s proper or mistaken right here.”
Spearheaded via Djokovic, Serbia received the inaugural ATP Cup in 2020, beating Rafael Nadal’s Spain. Nadal is every other no-show in Sydney this 12 months after contracting Covid-19 previous this month. Lajovic admitted Serbia’s job will probably be a lot tougher with out Djokovic after they open their marketing campaign towards Norway on Saturday. “You recognize, it’s by no means the similar if you have the #1 for your crew and then you definately don’t have him. It’s a large distinction,” he stated.
In Nadal’s absence, Spain are led via international quantity 19 Roberto Bautista Agut. Additionally they open their event on Saturday, towards Chile. Protecting champions Russia, led via Daniil Medvedev, play France on Sunday. – AFP