Only vaccinated tennis professionals are allowed to serve at the Australian Open in Melbourne in January. The boss of the tournament, Craig Tiley, made it clear once again and thus increased the question marks behind the participation of big stars such as Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic and his Russian rival Daniil Medvedev in the first competition of the New Year’s Grand Slam in the Australian state of Victoria.
“There is a lot of speculation about vaccinations. To be very clear, when the Prime Minister of Victoria announced that everyone at the tournament had to be vaccinated, we also let the players know,” Tiley said in a statement. TV interview – Channel Nine: “Everyone also showed understanding.”
Tiley explicitly described a vaccination for nine-time Melbourne winner Djokovic as a prerequisite for a place in the starting squad: “He said his vaccination status is a private matter for him. But he also knows he has to be vaccinated to be in Melbourne to be able to play. “
The debate over vaccination rules at Melbourne’s elite tournament, which begins on January 17, has been causing a stir for weeks. Several professionals like Djokovic or Medvedev repeatedly stress their willingness to participate, but at the same time still do not provide any public information on their vaccination status.
“Of course I want to play in Melbourne. It’s the Grand Slam where I had the most success. I don’t know if I will travel to Australia. The current situation is not good,” said Djokovic. in mid-October. . Medvedev made a similar statement a few days later: “I want to play there. But I won’t say if I will be seen there in January.”
Victoria Prime Minister Dan Andrews has repeatedly emphasized a hardline attitude towards unvaccinated tennis professionals in recent weeks when asked about vaccination regulations for Melbourne. “We lock people who are not vaccinated in pubs, cafes or restaurants and all kinds of other events. We will not ask for a waiver. I don’t think an unvaccinated player can get a visa for that. country. The virus doesn’t care, where you stand in the world rankings or how many Grand Slam tournaments you’ve won, “Andrews said and also alleged organizational difficulties for active unvaccinated players:” Even if there was a visa, the affected players would likely have to be in quarantine for several weeks. “