Novak Djokovic, in 2021, confirmed that he is still the man to beat in the ATP Tour. With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both out due to injury, the world number 1 reaffirmed his superiority by winning three Majors this year.
The Serbian champion was only one step away from the Grand Slam that would have put an end to any debate related to the greatest ever. The 34-year-old from Belgrade also won his 37th Masters 1000 and finished the season at the top of the ATP rankings for the seventh time in his career.
His only regrets (other than the US Open) are the Tokyo Olympics and the ATP Finals, but in both cases he found Alexander Zverev in a state of grace barring his way. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has not yet announced whether he will be present at the Australian Open 2022.
Local authorities have sanctioned the obligation of vaccination for all players who want to enter the country in January. Nole, for his part, never wanted to reveal his vaccination status. Interviewed by the newspaper The Age about vaccines and the participation of tennis players in the upcoming Australian tournaments, the sports minister of the State of Victoria Martin Pakula uttered sentences that leave no room for interpretation, especially regarding the participation of Novak Djokovic.
The Serbian is officially on the list for the ATP Cup and the Asutralian Open 2022, but with the presence still in doubt. Pakula said: "If Novak Djokovic chooses not to get vaccinated and is not accepted by the panel of experts, he will not participate in the Australian Open.
The vaccine is a prerequisite to be able to play the tournament. Otherwise, he must have a valid reason to explain his lack of vaccination. If people think we are going to give Djokovic preferential treatment, they are very wrong.
Any player wishing to enter Australia will either have to be vaccinated or have a good reason not to be. Novak's participation in the tournament does not depend on me, the Prime Minister or any other political figure. The matter will be evaluated by a commission of experts."
Juan Martin Del Potro announces his possible come back
Juan Martin Del Potro looks ready to come back. The Argentinian champion did a lot less than everyone expected in his career but only because of injuries. Despite everything, Juan Martin is always back and although he hasn't played for a long time, he is ready to return to the Tour.
The former US Open 2009 winner posted a message on social media stating which tournament he wants to return to. The giant from Tandil is energized and left the following social message: "I have trained very hard, some days are better than others but I am always hoping to return to racing early next year.
It would be very special for me to return to tournaments in Buenos Aires and then to play in Rio de Janeiro. As you can all imagine, I am giving my all every day so that he can come back soon and we can see each other again.
I will keep you updated on my progress, see you soon. Take care of yourself." In the last few days Del Potro has posted a video where he kept constant training on the pitch and now he seems more and more energized towards returning to the court.
The former Top 5 played the last tournament about two years ago and on seven occasions he has already made important returns from injuries. One of his most famous comebacks occurred in 2016 with Juan Martin returning and winning a Masters 1000, an Olympic silver medal and a Grand Slam final.
Now there is great expectation and curiosity for his return to the court. Compared to 2016, the situation is certainly more difficult, the tennis player has not played for two years and now at the age of 33 he is now in the final phase of his career.
It will be curious and interesting to understand if the tennis player will be able to return to the field in the next two months. Currently the circuit is stopped for the end of the season and we are only witnessing an exhibition tournament where there are, among other things, two former world number ones, Andy Murray and the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, also returning from a bad foot injury.