'He will be here': Huge claim about Novak Djokovic's Aus Open dramas

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Novak Djokovic (pictured) looking on after a point in a tennis match.
Coach and commentator Roger Rasheed said he still thinks Novak Djokovic (pictured) will be able to compete at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

Tennis commentator and coach Roger Rasheed doubts 20-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic will miss the Australian Open due to a current mandatory vaccine rule in Victoria.

Djokovic finally broke his silence on the current state of Victoria's jab policy and said he 'didn't know' if he would play at the Australian Open in January.

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But he also refused to reveal his vaccination status.

Following his comments, Victorian state premier Daniel Andrews indicated unvaccinated tennis players are unlikely to be given any special dispensation to play in the Australian Open next year.

Andrews said unvaccinated players would be unlikely to receive a visa to enter Australia and, if they were, they would be likely to have to complete the full two weeks of quarantine.

However, while the tennis world speculates on Djokovic's attendance at the year's first grand slam, Rasheed doesn't think the nine-time Australian Open champ will be absent.

Speaking on SEN, Rasheed said there was plenty of time before the Australian Open and circumstances around quarantine and unvaccinated travellers could change.

“I think it’s a given that (Novak Djokovic) will be here in January,” he said on SEN Sportsday.

“We’ll get to a vaccination rate here in Australia by then; the circumstances are going to change in the next few weeks. We’re getting closer and closer to unravelling everything and the circumstances will be different by the end of the year.

“Novak is probably only interested in what’s happening towards the end of December, because those conditions will probably dictate how it works when he gets into Australia.

“He wants to break the record, it would be brilliant for us to have it in Australia and we’d want to have him break that record here as that’s something that will stand up in world sport.”

However, on Wednesday, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke addressed the issue and said everyone entering Australia will need to be double vaccinated.

Novak Djokovic going for grand slam record

One of the reasons why people find it hard to believe Djokovic would willingly miss the Australian Open is his desire to stand alone at the pinnacle of men's tennis.

Djokovic has won the Australian Open a record nine-times and would be heavy favourite to take his tally into double digits.

The added incentive to overtake Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the grand slam title race will be the talking point of the open.

Without him in Melbourne it would give Nadal, Federer appearing unlikely to play, a chance to go ahead.

"Of course I want to go, Australia is my most successful grand slam tournament," he said.

Novak Djokovic's (pictured) gesturing after a point at the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic's (pictured) vaccine status is unknown. (Getty Images)

"I want to compete, I love this sport and I am still motivated.

"I am following the situation regarding the Australian Open and I understand the final decision (on Covid-19 related restrictions) will be made in two weeks.

"I believe there will be a lot of restrictions just like this year, but I doubt there will be too many changes.

"My manager, who is in contact with the Australian tennis federation, tells me they are trying to improve the conditions for everyone, both for those who have been vaccinated and those who have not."

Djokovic also signalled his intention to return to the court at the Paris Masters after taking time off following his US Open loss.

with AAP

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