The Australian Open will ban unvaccinated players from participating – Novak Djokovic, the current champion, is in danger.

  • To participate in the Australian Open 2022, all players must be immunized 
  • The event will take place at Melbourne Park, Victoria in January.
  • Craig Tiley, Tournament Chief has stated that players who are not vaccinated cannot compete
  • Novak Djokovic (defending champion) could thus miss the competition 
  • The Serb repeatedly insists that he is not forced to take the Covid jab 
  • Nick Kyrgios dismissed Djokovic’s demand to play as “morally wrong” 

Craig Tiley announced on Saturday that Novak Djokovic, world number 1, and all others will need to get COVID-19 vaccinations to compete in the Australia Open next year.

Djokovic repeatedly refused to reveal whether he was vaccinated. He said that he’d wait until Tennis Australia released the information before making a decision on playing at Melbourne Park. 

Tiley said to journalists at the tournament launch, “There is a lot to speculate about vaccination. Just to make it really clear: when the Premier (state) announced that everyone on the site…will need to be immunized…we made this clear to the playing groups. 

Australian Open chief Craig Tiley (r) has confirmed unvaccinated players cannot play in the 2022 tournament, putting the participation of defending champion Novak Djokovic (l) in doubt

Craig Tiley (r), chief Australian Open, has said that players who are not vaccinated cannot compete in the 2022 tournament. Novak Djokovic (l), is now doubtful.

“We’d love Novak to come here. He knows that Novak will need to get vaccinated before he can play here.

It is the end of months-long negotiations between Tennis Australia Australia, Victoria State Government and Tennis Australia. The Victoria government had insisted that all Melbourne Park residents should be immunized.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews made it very clear that no exemptions will be granted to unvaccinated athletes.

Djokovic, Rafael Nadal (and Roger Federer) share the record for 20 men’s Grand Slam singles wins. If he plays in January, he will attempt to break that tie with a 10th Australian Open win.

Serb Djokovic has reiterated his stand about freedom of choice over taking Covid-19 vaccine

Serb Djokovic reaffirmed his position on freedom of choice in regard to Covid-19.

Nadal has confirmed that he will attend Melbourne Park in January, but Federer will not be there as he is recovering from another knee injury.

Tiley indicated that approximately 80% of the players had been vaccinated. They will be playing in all the stadiums, when the Grand Slam tournament opens on January 17th. 

The vaccine-sceptic Serb has repeatedly insisted he will not be forced to have the jab and emphasised his individual freedom of choice.

Last month the 34-year-old said he was unsure if he would defend his title in Australia, ‘things being as they are’.

World No 1 may not be able to defend his 2021 Australian Open crown due to Covid restrictions

Covid restrictions could mean the World No.1 may be unable to defend his crown at the Australian Open 2021.

Reporters in Turin, Italy at the ATP Tour Finals heard him say that freedom of choice was essential for all people.

“It doesn’t really matter what vaccination you have or how much else it is in your life. It should be your right to make the decision, what you wish to do. You can decide what to do with your body in this instance.

“I’ve always been a proponent for that, always supported freedom of choice and will continue to support that cause freedom is vital for me to live a happy and successful life.” 

Nick Kyrgios from Australia, an outspoken player, has criticized Djokovic’s demand to play even though Djokovic is not vaccinated.

Nick Kyrgios has said it is 'morally wrong' to accept unvaccinated players from overseas

Nick Kyrgios said that accepting unvaccinated international players is morally wrong

The World No 90 said on his ‘No Boundaries’ podcast: ‘For the people of Melbourne, who have gone through hell and back. Your freedom was taken away after you have been locked down for almost 300 days.

“It’s not morally right for players to be allowed into the country from abroad that haven’t been vaccinated.” 

Melbourne is the Australian city with the longest number of consecutive days since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic.

Melbourne was locked down for five days during the Australian Open last February. Closed doors allowed the grand slam to continue.