Novak Djokovic to Miss Australian Open 2022 If He Refuses to Get Covid 19 Vaccine

Published 10/03/2021, 1:27 PM EDT
Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after smashing his racket in the second set of the match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men’s singles final on day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports


Even though Novak Djokovic failed to accomplish his Calendar Slam at the US Open 2021, he has been the best ATP player on tour in 2021. The Serbian won three Grand Slam titles and became the first male player to accomplish at least two majors each in the Open Era.

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As each member of the ‘Big 3’ currently has 20 Grand Slam titles, it will be the Australian Open 2022 that could decide the G.O.A.T debate now. Since Novak Djokovic has the best record in the history of the Australian Open, he will begin as the favorite down-under. However, there is a chance that he might not even play in Melbourne, Victoria next year.

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Novak Djokovic might have to skip the Australian Open 2022

The Victorian government in Australia recently announced some new protocols for athletes ahead of the Australian Open 2022. According to them, their local players and athletes need to be fully vaccinated by November 26, 2021 in order to feature in any tournament there.

Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a shot against Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men’s singles final. Day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Similarly, the foreign players are also required to get themselves completely vaccinated before arriving to play in Victoria. The rules are applicable even for the English cricketers who will be coming to Melbourne to play the Ashes.

Since World No.1 Novak Djokovic has not taken the COVID-19 jab as of now, there are high chances that the authorities will not allow the Serbian to play at the Australian Open 2022. Even though the Grand Slam is in the middle of January and the Serb has got plenty of time, he needs to get himself vaccinated in order to defend his title.

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“It’s Novak’s decision if he wants to get vaccinated”- Australian coach on Djokovic

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In a recent interview, Australian tennis coach Craig O’Shannessy stated that it’s completely Djokovic’s call about getting vaccinated or not. He also mentioned that it’s Nole’s choice if he wants to participate at the Australian Open 2022.

Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a shot against Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men’s singles final. Day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s Novak’s decision if he wants to get vaccinated. It’s his choice to participate in the Open if there is a mandate,” said O’Shannessy, who also was a part of Djokovic’s coaching staff from 2017 to 2019.

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With the new rule, it seems like Djokovic will either have to get jabbed or skip the Australian Open. It will be intriguing to see how events unfold from here.

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Anshul Singh

1396 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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