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Novak Djokovic “Probably Won’t Want To Play” Australian Open, says Player’s Dad


Novak Djokovic is likely to miss the Australian Open due to COVID-19 restrictions© AFP

Novak Djokovic “probably will not” play in the Australian Open in January over mandatory COVID-19 vaccination rules, the world number one father said on Sunday, comparing the restrictions to “extortion”. The 34-year-old Djokovic, who would bid for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne, declined to say whether he had been vaccinated against coronavirus or not. But Australian Open tournament chief Craig Tiley said all players must be vaccinated to take part. “Of course he will want to go with all his heart,” Djokovic’s father, Srdjan, told Serbian channel Prda TV.

“Because he is a sportsman and there are many of our people, the (Serbian) diaspora, there are those who will be delighted to see Novak.

“But I really do not know if it will happen. Certainly not under these circumstances, with this extortion and when it is done that way.”

Srdjan Djokovic also defended his son’s exclusive and personal right “to be vaccinated or not, claiming that even he did not know whether Novak had been stabbed.

Tiley revealed last week that Djokovic “said he saw it as a private matter for himself”.

“We would love to see Novak here. He knows he will have to be vaccinated to play here,” he added.

Djokovic, a nine-time Australian Open champion, is tied for 20 Grand Slam singles victories with former rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

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He contracted Covid-19 during the fatal Adria Tour event he organized in the Balkans in June 2020, but said he did not suffer from any symptoms.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated stream.)

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