The Australian Open is due to be held in January next year, but the state of Victoria, where the tournament will take place, has declared that unvaccinated players won’t be allowed to compete. However, world number one player Novak Djokovic risks losing the chance to defend the title by refusing to disclose his vaccination status, continuing to publicly support freedom of choice over vaccine passports. The Independent has more.
World number one Novak Djokovic has reiterated his stand about freedom of choice over taking the Covid vaccine as suspense grows over his participation at the Australian Open in January.
Djokovic has repeatedly declined to disclose his vaccination status and said last month that he was unsure if he would defend his title at Melbourne Park, “things being as they are”. Government officials of the state of Victoria, where the major takes place in Melbourne, have said unvaccinated players will be barred from the tournament.
Tennis maverick Nick Kyrgios said on his podcast this week that he was “double-vaxxed” but did not think it was right to force anyone, let alone athletes, to get vaccinated. Responding to the comments from Kyrgios, who has criticised Djokovic on numerous occasions in the past for various reasons, the Serbian said: “that was unexpected knowing what was coming from him towards me in the last couple of years.
“But this time I must agree with him that the freedom of choice is essential for everyone, whether it’s me or somebody else,” the 34 year-old told reporters in Turin, where he is competing at the season-ending ATP Finals.