Novak Djokovic’s father says his son is unlikely to play at the Australian Open if rules on COVID-19 vaccinations are not relaxed.
- Novak Djokovic is yet to confirm whether he will contest the Australian Open
- His father has raised further doubt about his son’s participation in a Serbia TV interview
- Tournament organisers say all players must be vaccinated against COVID-19
Australian Open organisers confirmed earlier this month all players must be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they want to compete at the tournament in January.
Novak Djokovic has so far declined to disclose whether he is vaccinated.
His father, Srdjan, told Serbia’s TV Prva that Tennis Australia’s stance on players being vaccinated was tantamount to “blackmail”.
“As far as vaccines and non-vaccines are concerned, it is the personal right of each of us whether we will be vaccinated or not,” he was quoted as saying on news website B92.
“No-one has the right to enter into our intimacy.
“Under these blackmails and conditions, [Novak Djokovic] probably won’t [play]. I wouldn’t do that. And he’s my son, so you decide for yourself.”
“We’ll see. We’ll have to wait and see,” Djokovic said at the ATP Finals in Turin.
“I haven’t been talking to them (Australian Open organisers), to be honest,” he added.
“I was just waiting to hear what the news is going to be and now that I know we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Djokovic has won nine men’s singles titles at Melbourne Park, including this year’s tournament.
He shares the record of 20 men’s major singles titles with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Nadal has confirmed he will play at Melbourne Park in January, but Federer will miss the tournament as he recovers from another knee surgery.
The Australian Open begins on January 17.