“There is a lot of speculation about vaccinations and to be really clear: when the Prime Minister announced that everyone on the spot would have to be vaccinated, we made it clear to the players,” Craig Tiley told Channel Nine. He added that everyone would have to be after the vaccine – fans, players, sponsors and the rest of the people working on the tournament.
Immediately after the words of the director of the Australian Open, there was speculation about Novak Djokovic and whether the Serb will appear in the tournament, which he has won nine times. The leader of the ranking declared that he would not disclose whether he had been vaccinated. All indications are that he will have no choice. “We would like to see Novak here. He knows he will have to be vaccinated to play here,” Tiley said.
Everything is clear about the Australian Open. Djoković under pressure
The declaration of the tournament director ends the communication chaos that prevailed in Australia in recent days due to the fact that unvaccinated people will be able to take part in the tournament. On Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that unvaccinated players will be allowed to enter Australia. He added, however, that their participation in the Australian Open will depend on the authorities of the state of Victoria, in which Melbourne is located. He announced that the state government would grant special waivers to those who have not taken the COVID-19 vaccine.
Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews indicated a few hours later that the layoffs would not apply. “On behalf of every vaccinated Victoria resident who has done the right thing, my government will not seek exemption for any unvaccinated tennis player,” Andrews said. – If we do not apply for a waiver, the exemption will not be granted, and then the whole matter will be essentially resolved – he added.
According to data from the last days from the ATP and WTA federation, as many as 35 percent of tennis players competing in the competition and 40 percent of tennis players have still not opted for vaccination against COVID-19.
At the last Grand Slam tournament in New York, fans had to show proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter the stands. Such a requirement was not imposed on competitors participating in the US Open. “For me it’s a bit strange that fans have to be vaccinated and tennis players don’t,” said former leader of the ranking, Victoria Azarenka. – I think it is inevitable. At some point, vaccinations will be compulsory, as in other sports or competitions, she added.
The Australian Open will be held on January 17-30.