Australian Open chief Craig Tiley has confirmed players must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to participate in the 2021 tournament in January.
The announcement piles more pressure on Novak Djokovic to reveal whether or not he has been vaccinated with the Serbian yet to make a decision about playing at Melbourne Park.
“There's a lot of speculation about vaccination and just to be really clear, when the [Victoria] premier announced that everyone on site... will need to be vaccinated, we made that clear to the playing group,” Tiley told Channel Nine.
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All the playing group understands it, our patrons will need to be vaccinated, all the staff working at the Australian Open will need to be vaccinated.
This news comes after months of negotiations between Tennis Australia and the Victoria state government; Melbourne has spent 260 days of the pandemic in lockdown.
“We would love to see Novak here. He knows that he'll have to be vaccinated to play here,” Tiley said when asked how the announcement would affect Djokovic.
“He's won the Australian Open nine times, I think he'd love to make it double digits and win it 10 times.”
Djokovic has remained coy on whether or not he has been vaccinated against Covid-19 and whether he plans on playing at the Australian Open if proof of vaccination is required.
“I am going to decide on whether I go to Australia after I see an official statement from Tennis Australia,” the world number one said during the Paris Masters.
“There has been no official announcement or statement and until that is out I won't be talking about this anymore. I do not want to be part of the stories about the assumptions and what ifs.”
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