The Australian Open 2022 will be the first international tournament open only to those vaccinated against the COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Australia has decided to adopt a different strategy from most other countries and has repeatedly instituted the lockdown to stop small outbreaks in the bud and aim for the tactic of zero contagion.
Melbourne, in particular, has seen a significant increase in cases in recent months and the Victorian government has imposed vaccination obligations on millions of workers, including professional athletes. Considering all these indications, there are still many doubts related to the participation of Novak Djokovic, who is however registered in both the ATP Cup and the Australian Open.
The Serbian champion has decided not to make his personal information public and no one can know for sure what his choice was. The new season will start on January 1st and only during the first week of 2022 will everyone know Djokovic's fate.
A first important defection concerns the doubles tournament. Pierre-Hugues Herbert will not reach Melbourne precisely because of the vaccination obligation. The French tennis player had already talked about the matter during the Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy and explained: "I'm not vaccinated, so the trip to Australia would not be possible for me.
So I do what I can. Considering my singles ranking, it might be a better choice to play smaller tournaments in Europe. My ranking is low, I'm number 110 to date. Certainly, however, the fact that I could not go there without the vaccine has complicated things.
And it is a discourse that does not only concern Australia, but also the United States, Austria, it is a complex topic and for this reason it is a personal choice not to get the vaccine," explained the French to the newspaper L'Alsace.
Clarey: "Roger Federer could give up very soon"
Roger Federer's 2021 raised more questions than answers. The former world number 1 was unable to repeat the miracle of 2017, on the contrary, he gave the feeling of being on the avenue of sunset.
The Swiss star has played just 13 official matches this year, racking up nine wins and four defeats. The round of 16 at Roland Garros and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon were his best seasonal results, certainly not an exhilarating tally for a legend of his caliber.
In addition to hailing the Top 10 for the first time since 2017, the 40-year-old from Basel had to have his knee operated on for the third time in the last 18 months. The King will start racing again at the beginning of the new year, while to see him again on the tour we will have to wait until at least the summer of 2022.
His presence at Wimbledon is at great risk, as admitted by Federer himself in a recent interview. To the microphones of the moneycontrol.com portal, Christopher Clarey, a well-known correspondent for the New York Times, did not express great optimism regarding the chances of the Swiss player to return to competition.
He said: "Roger Federer is doing everything possible to return to the field and give himself a decent finish, there is no doubt about it. At the same time, I want to be brutally honest. I don't think he will get the success he is looking for and I wouldn't be surprised if he decides to give up very soon.
His last game ended with a bagel at Wimbledon, certainly not the epilogue that Roger wants to leave in the minds of his fans. The chances of seeing it again at the highest levels are low, it is useless to go around it. The opponents are more numerous and stronger than in his last full season Federer's love of tennis has remained intact, which is why he wants to return. Furthermore, the Swiss has laid the foundations for what his life will be like after tennis."