Tennis: Victoria lockdown bans fans at Australian Open
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Novak Djokovic has been urged to put any scepticism aside and get vaccinated so he can play the Australian Open. After the nine-time champion expressed doubts over playing because he didn’t want to disclose his vaccination status, retired doubles legend Todd Woodbridge said it likely meant Djokovic wasn’t jabbed.
Djokovic has been a doubt for the Australian Open in recent weeks.
Government ministers have continued to stress the importance of getting vaccinated, threatening a ban for those who weren’t double-jabbed, something the world No 1 spoke out against.
“I don’t know if I’m going to Australia, I don’t know what’s going on. Currently, the situation is not good at all,” the 34-year-old told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I have my opinion and it has always been the same. I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not.”
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Todd Woodbridge, retired pro-turned-pundit, has now urged the 20-time Grand Slam champion to get jabbed for the Australian Open, with time running out.
The 16-time doubles Major champion admitted he believed Djokovic did not want to share whether or not he was jabbed because it meant he had not been vaccinated.
“The fact that he says he’s not going to tell us whether he’s had it (the vaccination) or not, probably means he still hasn’t had the vaccination,” he said, speaking to Australia’s Channel Nine’s Wide World of Sports.
“It’s becoming increasingly likely that if you don’t have it, it’s going to be very hard to get here.”
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With charter flights expected to depart for Melbourne around Christmastime, unvaccinated players will need to make a decision soon so they can leave enough time between jabs, and two weeks after to be counted as fully vaccinated.
The Aussie thought it was likely the world No 1 would get vaccinated so he didn’t miss out on the chance to win a record 21st Grand Slam men’s singles title, and a record tenth Australian Open title, but said he couldn’t leave it until the last minute.
Woodbridge continued: “Novak is waiting until the 11th hour to make that decision, I can’t imagine him not wanting to be here, not wanting to play in what has been his most successful tournament.
“That hourglass is ticking, and there’s not a lot left, he’s going to have to make that call one way or the other, and if he has it, he’s going to have to tell us.
“Holding it close to your chest isn’t going to get the outcome solved for him.”
Meanwhile, world No 2 Daniil Medvedev has come out in support of Djokovic’s decision not to reveal his vaccination status, though admitted that seeing who didn’t play the Australian Open would be a giveaway as to who wasn’t jabbed, even if they withdrew for another reason.
“I liked what Novak said about this,” the recent US Open champion said.
“He said the vaccination was a personal matter and he would not be making it public. And I also decided not to disclose medical things.
“As for Australia, everyone will see who is vaccinated and who is not. Of course, the players can say that they are injured, but this will be a play on words.
“I want to play in Australia, that’s all I can say.”
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