Novak Djokovic hoping to play in Australian Open, says Dusan Lajovic | Tennis News

Djokovic retired from the ATP Cup ahead of the Australian Open; all players must be vaccinated or have medical exemption from the Victorian government; World No.1 previously expressed vaccine skepticism, but Dusan Lajovic says Djokovic still aims to defend his title at Melbourne Park

Last updated: 30/12/21 9:46


Dusan Lajovic (left) says Novak Djokovic’s absence from the ATP Cup is unfortunate

Novak Djokovic is still hoping to play in the Australian Open, according to Serbia teammate Dusan Lajovic.

The world number one has retired from the season opening ATP Cup, which starts on Saturday, where he was expected to lead his country.

That task will fall to Lajovic instead, but there is no confirmation as to whether or not nine-time champion Djokovic will defend his title at Melbourne Park next month.

In a press conference ahead of the ATP Cup, Lajovic said: “Unfortunately he is unable to come here, but I believe he hoped, as we did, that he will somehow be here. Unfortunately he is not and we have to face him.”

Regarding Djokovic’s chances of playing in Melbourne, Lajovic added: “He just said he won’t come to the ATP (Cup) and will try to make it to the Australian Open.”

Reigning Australia Open champion Novak Djokovic says he has yet to decide whether he will compete in next year's tournament after it has been confirmed that vaccinations against Covid-19 are necessary for players

Please use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Reigning Australia Open champion Novak Djokovic says he has yet to decide whether he will compete in next year’s tournament after it has been confirmed that vaccinations against Covid-19 are necessary for players

Reigning Australia Open champion Novak Djokovic says he has yet to decide whether he will compete in next year’s tournament after it has been confirmed that vaccinations against Covid-19 are necessary for players

All players must be vaccinated against the coronavirus or secure medical exemption from the Victorian government, for which strict criteria exist.

Djokovic has repeatedly refused to say whether or not he is vaccinated, but previously expressed skepticism about vaccines and spoke strongly of his belief that athletes should have the right to choose.

Players have arrived in Australia in the past few days and have stepped up preparations for the 2022 season but, with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 on the rise around the world, the disruption seems inevitable.

Roland Garros finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is the latest player to reveal that she is isolating herself after testing positive on arrival in Australia.

Andy Murray skipped the tournament last year after an inconvenient bout of the virus, but he is among those photographed training at Melbourne Park, alongside defending champion Naomi Osaka.

Don’t forget to follow us at skysports.com/tennis, our Twitter account @skysportstennis & Sky Sport – on the go! Available for download now on – iPhone and iPad and Android

.

Leave a Comment