The best tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, could very easily miss the next Australian Open, judging by the position of the Prime Minister of Victoria, Daniel Andrews. Namely, after Djokovic stated in an interview with Belgrade's Blic that he does not intend to reveal his vaccination status against COVID to anyone, as well as that he is still thinking about whether he will play in Melbourne and wait for the final decision of the Australian authorities regarding the arrival of people from abroad in the following period, the news spread like wildfire to Australia.
Local journalists in Melbourne asked the Prime Minister of Victoria, whether the nine-time champion of the Australian Open will be able to come to this Australian federal state in January next year if he does not have proof of immunization.
The answer was very clear and direct. Andrews said that unvaccinated tennis players "will probably not be allowed to come to the Australian Open" "I don't think unvaccinated tennis players will be able to get a visa to enter this country," Andrews said.
The Prime Minister added that even if unvaccinated tennis players are granted visas, they will have to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arrival in Melbourne, as was the case last year. "But I don't think that person you nominated (Djokovic) or any other tennis player, not to personalize all this, as well as any Formula 1 driver or golfer, will get a visa for Australia without an immunization certificate.
"Professional sport is here on the list of occupations of necessary importance, for which it is obligatory to receive two doses of the vaccine," Daniel Andrews pointed out.
It is interesting that Andrews believes that foreign professional athletes can also enter the same basket with employees in important jobs, as is the case with Australian athletes in the territory of Victoria.
So, this is not even a regulation at the national level. Novak Djokovic has won the Australian Open nine times in his career, and if he is approved to come, he will have the opportunity to become the absolute record holder in the number of Grand Slams won with another title in Melbourne.
As Djokovic confirmed in a conversation with Blic, intensive talks are underway with the national tennis association, Tennis Australia, which is also the organizer of the Australian Open, with officials from the Federal Government and the Victoria Government about options that could enable the arrival of all tennis players.
Tennis Australia is in unpicked grapes, because he has publicly expressed his position in the past period that he does not agree with the obligatory vaccination against COVID. In addition to Djokovic, it is known that the second and third tennis players in the world, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, have a similar opinion, as well as a number of the best tennis players in the world.
For now, neither the ATP nor the WTA as umbrella tennis organizations have such a regulation, and it is hard to believe that top aces will be ready to train in hotel rooms again for 14 days and risk serious injuries at the Australian Open.
On the other hand, a Grand Slam without a constellation of leading aces will not be the tournament at the level expected.