Novak Djokovic likely to miss Australian Open: Here's why
Serbian ace Novak Djokovic is unlikely to play the Australian Open next year. He will miss the Grand Slam tournament if the rules for COVID-19 vaccination don't get relaxed, as per his father, Srdjan Djokovic. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is yet to disclose details of his vaccination status. Notably, all players entering the tournament in Melbourne are required to get vaccinated against coronavirus.
Why does this story matter?
Earlier this month, Australian Open boss Craig Tiley reiterated that any player without proof of vaccination would not be allowed to compete. The participation of Djokovic is shrouded in mystery as he hasn't disclosed any information regarding the same. Notably, Djokovic is vying to win his 21st major title. By doing so, he will break a tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The official statement of Djokovic's father
"As far as vaccines and non-vaccines are concerned, it is the personal right of each of us whether we will be vaccinated or not. No one has the right to enter into our intimacy," Srdjan told news website B92. "Under these blackmails and conditions, (Djokovic) probably won't (play). I wouldn't do that. And he's my son, so you decide for yourself."
Djokovic has refrained from talking about his vaccination status
Djokovic has repeatedly refused to answer any questions about his vaccination status. Last month, the world number one had said, "Things beings as they are, I still don't know if I will go to Melbourne." "I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not, it is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry."
Australian Open: Notable numbers of Djokovic
Djokovic has won the Australian Open the most number of times (9). He has three more titles than Roy Emerson and Roger Federer (6 each). The Serbian is 82-8 at this Slam. He owns a win percentage of 91. He has a perfect record in the finals of the Australian Open (9-0). Djokovic is the defending champion, having defeated Daniil Medvedev (final) in 2021.
Other records of Djokovic at Australian Open
Djokovic holds the record for winning 25 consecutive matches at the Australian Open. His unbeaten streak commenced in 2011 and ended when he lost the quarter-finals in 2014. In 2020, Djokovic earned his 900th tour-level match-win en route to his eighth Australian Open title. He is one of the three players to register the major hard-court title double in a season (2011 and 2015).
The incredible run of Djokovic in 2021 (Grand Slams)
Djokovic started the 2021 season by claiming a record-extending ninth Australian Open honor. After winning the French Open, he became the first player in the Open Era to secure all four Grand Slams twice. He became the first player to win a Roland Garros title after defeating Nadal (semis). Djokovic equaled Federer and Nadal by clinching his 20th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.