Djokovic's dad blasts Australian Open 'blackmail'

1 month ago 16
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Novak Djokovic's hopes of claiming a 10th Australian Open rubric this summertime look slim, with the satellite No.1's begetter declaring the "conditions" are a large hurdle.

The Australian Open isn't scheduled to commencement until January 17, but a Victorian state-enforced COVD-19 vaccine mandate has enactment unit connected Djokovic's availability, who to day has refused to uncover his vaccination status.

The 34-year-old has stated connected aggregate occasions that this is simply a "personal" matter.

According to Srdjan, Djokovic's father, the conditions to enactment successful January's tourney magnitude to "blackmail" against the Serbian superstar.

Novak Djokovic successful enactment astatine the Australian Open. (Getty)

"Of people helium would privation to spell [to the Australian Open] with each his heart," Srdjan told Serbian transmission Prda TV.

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"Because helium is simply a sportsman and determination are a batch of our people, the (Serbian) diaspora, determination who would beryllium delighted to spot Novak.

"But I truly don't cognize if that volition happen. Probably not nether these conditions, with this blackmail and erstwhile it's done that way."

The upcoming Australian Open tourney volition beryllium the archetypal Grand Slam to enforce a vaccine mandate.

Djokovic, a nine-time Australian Open champion, is conscionable 1 large trophy distant from overtaking rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the astir Grand Slam titles, with the trio tied connected 20.

Unvaxxed players unopen retired of Australian Open

While Djokovic's playing presumption is simply a large interest for Australian Open organisers, the aforesaid besides applies to the caller COVID-19 variant Omicron, which is threatening to spoil the event.

Tennis Australia brag Craig Tiley said the organisation is working intimately with the authorities connected however to grip the situation.

"We knew erstwhile we announced the lawsuit determination would beryllium immoderate much challenges - that's conscionable the quality of the satellite we've been surviving successful for the past 2 years," Tiley told Nine's Sports Sunday.

"We're inactive waiting. I've been talking to the government... there's inactive a batch of unanswered questions astir this [new COVID-19 variant].

"I deliberation successful the adjacent 14 days we volition person immoderate clarity, but astatine this point, the plans are going up arsenic they are."

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