Australian Open chaos with Victorian Premier at odds with PM over vaccine stance

The organisation of the Australian Open has been thrust into more confusion and chaos with politicians in the country at odds over whether or not unvaccinated stars will be able to travel to Melbourne to take part.

Earlier this week a leaked email from the WTA to players and coaches appeared to state that those who had not had the jab would still be able to head Down Under and compete in the first Grand Slam of 2022.

They would have to jump through more hoops than their vaccinated peers, though, including regular testing and an isolation period upon arrival in Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also said unjabbed professionals will be able to take part, as long as they quarantine for 14 days and successfully apply for a skilled worker travel exemption to enter the country.

However, whether or not that will be the case is once again unclear as the PM's statement has been contested by the Premier of Victoria – the state in which the Melbourne tournament will take place.

Daniel Andrews moved quickly to go against the Prime Minister's statement, and said: "What I want to make very clear is that the state of Victoria will not be applying for any exemptions for unvaccinated players."

It means some of the world's biggest tennis stars might not be able to compete in the first major tournament of the 2022 season, if Andrews holds firm on his stance and does not consent to unvaccinated players entering the state.

Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are the top three ranked male players in the world – but all have, in the past, chosen not to publicly say whether or not they have had the jab.

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The latter, though, has hinted he will be getting vaccinated before the end of the year after criticism from the Greek government over controversial comments made about whether or not younger, fitter people need to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the ATP has warned players and coaches who have not had the jab that disruption my continue throughout the 2022 season.

The governing body insists it will not make vaccination mandatory, but it "strongly recommends" players get the jab and warned that it would respect the decision of governments and local health authorities if they denied entry to unvaccinated players.

Players and coaches are also warned to expect some countries and airlines to bring in rules around mandatory vaccination in the future.

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