Novak Djokovic ahead of the 2021 ATP Finals

"Under these blackmails and conditions, he probably won't"- Novak Djokovic's father Srdjan on the World No. 1 playing in Australia 

Namit Kumar
ANALYST

Novak Djokovic's presence at the 2022 Australian Open remains a mystery after the Serb criticized the mandatory vaccination policy of the event. The World No. 1 has said he would like to keep his vaccination status private and opposes the policy put forward by Australian authorities and confirmed by Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley.

The 34-year-old's father, Srdjan, has recently commented on the situation. The Serb believes that getting vaccinated and publishing your choice to get vaccinated is a personal right, and that it is probable that his son will miss the event this year.

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"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 that intimacy, it is guaranteed by the constitution. Everyone has the right to decide on their health," Srdjan told b92.
"It was embarrassing because of the announcement of those rulers in the provinces of Australia, who gave themselves the right to name the nine-time champion of Australia," he added. "Whether he (Novak Djokovic) will appear there depends on them how they will position themselves. He would want it with all his heart because he an athlete, and we would love that too. Under these blackmails and conditions, he probably won't. I wouldn't do that. And he's my son, so you decide for yourself."

Novak Djokovic is also the defending champion at the Australian Open. The Serb is currently tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at 20 Majors each. Glory in Melbourne -- for which he is the favorite -- would see him take the lead in the all-time Grand Slam race for the first time.

"Let them quarantine": Novak Djokovic's father says unvaccinated players should be allowed to play Australian Open

Novak Djokovic's father Srdjan at Wimbledon 2011
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During the interview, Srdjan Djokovic further criticized the rules set up by authorities at the Australian Open. He claimed that last year's quarantine at the Australian Open worked well, so the authorities should also allow that this year. .

"(They) can be quarantined, but (they) should be in the hotel room for 14 days and not even come out in the hotel lobby. Well, they came up with a great idea, let them play in the tournament then," he said.

The Serb also said that the Russian and Chinese vaccine not being recognized is a major issue in the rules.

"What is a recognized vaccine, Mr. Craig? Russian vaccine is not a recognized vaccine? According to our criteria, only Chinese and Russian are recognized. The libertarian world has 90 percent of the world's population. For us, it is Russian and Chinese," Novak Djokovic's father said. "I don't think that's right, because you don't recognize Russian and Chinese (vaccines)."

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Edited by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
 
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