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Djokovic thriller deepens as stars arrive forward of Australian Open

Novak Djokovic

MELBOURNE: Novak Djokovic has no longer withdrawn from the ATP Cup regardless of claims he used to be nearly certain to take action, Tennis Australia mentioned the day before today, as different best gamers led by means of Naomi Osaka started arriving forward of the Australian Open. There was severe doubt as as to whether males’s global primary Djokovic would shuttle to Australia, having refused to substantiate if he has been vaccinated towards the coronavirus. An unnamed member of his staff advised Serbian newspaper Blic that they have been “99 %” certain that he would no longer play within the ATP Cup, which comes forward of the Australian Open, including to the intrigue over whether or not Djokovic can be on the first Grand Slam of the 12 months.

However Tennis Australia advised AFP the Serbian had but to tug out of the groups tournament, which is because of get started on Saturday in Sydney with Djokovic attracted to play Norway’s Casper Ruud at the opening day. “We haven’t heard of any withdrawals from Group Serbia for the ATP Cup,” a spokesperson mentioned. Tennis Australia has arranged constitution flights to convey global stars into Melbourne and Sydney, with the primary that arrived the day before today. Protecting ladies’s Australian Open champion Osaka used to be amongst the ones to the touch down, however Djokovic used to be no longer on board, TA mentioned. Avid gamers too can decide to fly business.

9-time Australian Open champion Djokovic may win a report twenty first Grand Slam name if he performs at Melbourne Park, however to go into Australia he and individuals of his entourage need to be vaccinated. The 34-year-old has prior to now expressed his opposition to the vaccine and his father Srdjan mentioned in past due November that Djokovic would most definitely no longer play the Australian Open, accusing the organizers of “blackmail”. The ATP Cup has already been hit by means of a number of gamers trying out certain for COVID, together with Russian global quantity 5 Andrey Rublev and Canada’s Wimbledon semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov.

Spanish famous person Rafael Nadal, who used to be because of play a warm-up tournament in Melbourne subsequent week, additionally shrunk the virus. All of them performed in an Abu Dhabi exhibition event this month. 3 feminine gamers on the identical tournament additionally examined certain – Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic, US Open champion Emma Raducanu and Wimbledon quarter-finalist Ons Jabeur. Tennis Australia has arranged the constitution flights to assist decrease the chance of having the virus at the commute over, with all passengers having to offer evidence of a destructive take a look at within the 72 hours earlier than flying. The Australian Open is because of get started on January 17. — AFP

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