SYDNEY: Novak Djokovic has pulled out of this week’s ATP Cup in Sydney, organizers stated the day prior to this, heightening doubts over whether or not he’ll protect his Australian Open identify. There was intense hypothesis as as to if he’ll shuttle to Australia, having refused to substantiate if he has been inoculated in opposition to the coronavirus.
“International Number one Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the 2022 ATP Cup,” organizers stated in a observation forward of Saturday’s begin to the staff match. “Group Serbia will now be led by means of international No 33 Dusan Lajovic.” Djokovic, the nine-time Australian Open champion, may just win a document twenty first Grand Slam identify if he performs at Melbourne Park subsequent month, however to go into Australia he and contributors of his entourage need to be vaccinated.
He has prior to now expressed his opposition to the vaccine and his father Srdjan stated in overdue November that Djokovic would almost certainly no longer play the primary Grand Slam of the 12 months, accusing the organizers of “blackmail”. Djokovic has been named within the access listing for the Australian Open, which begins on January 17, however he may just but withdraw. He was once additionally at first at the access listing for the ATP Cup. Tennis Australia has arranged constitution flights to deliver global stars into Melbourne and Sydney.
Protecting girls’s Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka was once amongst the ones to the touch down on Tuesday, however Djokovic was once no longer on board. Avid gamers too can choose to fly industrial. The ATP Cup has been hit by means of a number of withdrawals – both as a result of COVID or damage – and consequently France will change Austria in Team B after Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak pulled out, organizers stated the day prior to this. Group Russia’s Andrey Rublev, who has COVID, Aslan Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy have additionally withdrawn, the ATP Cup stated, as has the US’s Austin Krajicek.
COVID seems to be set to forged a dismal shadow over the Australian Open and the raft of tournaments within the nation previously. Spanish famous person Rafael Nadal, who was once because of play a warm-up tournament in Melbourne subsequent week, was once amongst a number of gamers to have gotten smaller the virus at an Abu Dhabi exhibition match this month. His Abu Dhabi opponent, Wimbledon semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov, additionally later examined certain.
3 feminine gamers on the similar tournament additionally examined certain – Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic, US Open champion Emma Raducanu and Wimbledon quarter-finalist Ons Jabeur. Previous the day prior to this, Nick Kyrgios prompt Nadal and Djokovic to play on the Australian Open, announcing it will be a “crisis” if the ‘Large 3’ had been lacking. Swiss ace Roger Federer has already pulled out as he recovers from a knee damage and Nadal’s plans are unclear.
The dominant ‘Large 3’ have gained 20 Grand Slam titles each and every and Kyrgios stated tennis nonetheless wishes them, beginning in Melbourne subsequent month. “I truthfully don’t know Novak’s present scenario with the rest COVID-related or what he must play,” the colourful Kyrgios instructed the Melbourne Age newspaper. “I am hoping he’s had a just right Christmas and I am hoping he’s in a position to play within the game for so long as imaginable as a result of I’ve voiced sooner than I feel Federer, Nadal and Djokovic wish to be (taking part in). “If all 3 aren’t there, it’s a crisis.”— AFP