Written by By Staff Writer
Djokovic’s training camp in Miami was closed for the month of August for injury and treatment. Credit: Louisa Gouliamaki, AFP/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic is seriously considering skipping next year’s Australian Open after being pushed out of the first Grand Slam of the season, according to his father.
Speaking to Serbian news outlet Partisan, Nenad Djokovic said his son was being “devastated” by the news that the Australian Open has introduced a mandatory on-site vaccine policy for players in response to the rise of antibiotic resistance.
“Unfortunately the Australian Open will no longer accept Novak as a competitor because of this new vaccine requirement, and by the way it is a law, not a recommendation, no choice can be made apart from the law,” he told Partisan.
The former world No. 1 withdrew from the Rogers Cup earlier this month, and from the Czech Open on Tuesday, citing inflammation in his left elbow.
Serena Williams, a six-time Australian Open champion, opted out of the event for the same reason.
Novak Djokovic didn’t practise with his compatriot in New York, due to the elbow injury. Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images
Unlike the U.S. Open, which does not have a mandatory vaccine policy, Djokovic’s father believes that the Australian Open’s new policy is too stringent.
“That is the first time that an international tournament is insisting on this rule and I think it’s a shame, and moreover Djokovic is speaking like this because he is being devastated by this move and wants to use his time properly because he cannot play at the highest level of tennis when he is upset and injured and the pain only increases.”