Australian Open Tournament Chief confident on Rafael Nadal's participation but not sure about Novak Djokovic

Published on Dec 23, 2021 04:43 PM IST

The 20-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal is recovering after being diagnosed with Covid-19

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.(Twitter/RG)
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.(Twitter/RG)

Participation of two of the tennis stalwarts Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the first grand slam of the year Australian Open 2022 looks uncertain. The 20-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal is recovering after being diagnosed with Covid-19 but the Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley is confident that the Spaniard will recover on time and will be available to play. For defending champion Djokovic, they are not too sure whether he will participate to defend his crown or not.

Nine-time Australian Open Champion Novak Djokovic's participation in Australian Open 2022 starting January 17 remains in serious doubt over his refusal to confirm whether he has been vaccinated or not. The 34-year old Serb is yet to speak publicly about his vaccination status.

The Australian Open management is very clear that all players and staff at the Australian Open must be vaccinated. According to Tournament Director Tiley, Novak will have to be vaccinated or have a medical exemption in order to participate in the tournament.

"If Novak shows up at the Australian Open, he'll either be vaccinated or he'll have a medical exemption. [It's] his choice on his medical condition, it's his choice to keep personal and private like all of us would do with any condition we may or may not have. We are not going to force him or ask him to disclose that." Sydney Morning Herald quoted Craig Tiley as saying.

The 2009 Australian Open Champion Nadal who was making a comeback after a long injury lay-off was tested positive after returning home from an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi. The Spaniard was the fourth player to return positive tests after travelling to the event.

There is still a lot of ambiguity about the participation of the two of the biggest names Nadal and Djokovic. The absence of these two might not augur well for the first grand slam of the year as they enjoy a great amount of fan following and their non-participation means the viewership and fan following of the tournament could well get affected. 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.
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