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Why it’s a “given” Djokovic will play Australia Open in 2022


Tennis commentator Roger Rasheed still believes world number one Novak Djokovic will travel to Australia despite refusing to again publicly confirm whether he’s been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Speaking to Serbian outlet Blic on Tuesday, Djokovic said he was still unsure whether he’d travel to Melbourne to defend his Australian Open title.

Djokovic’s stance on vaccines throughout the pandemic has been the subject of much debate, with Victorian premier Daniel Andrews casting doubt on whether unvaccinated players would be allowed to play in the tournament.

Despite the commentary around Djokovic, Rasheed said he still expected him to play in Melbourne early next year considering the 34-year-old remains just one grand slam title away from winning a record 21 majors.

“I think it’s a given that (Novak Djokovic) will be here in January,” he said on Sportsday.

“We’ll get to a vaccination rate here in Australia by then; the circumstances are going to change in the next few weeks. We’re getting closer and closer to unravelling everything and the circumstances will be different by the end of the year.

“Novak is probably only interested in what’s happening towards the end of December, because those conditions will probably dictate how it works when he gets into Australia.

“He wants to break the record, it would be brilliant for us to have it in Australia and we’d want to have him break that record here as that’s something that will stand up in world sport.”

Djokovic hasn’t played since the US Open, where his bid to win all four majors in one calendar year was curtailed after he lost to Russian Daniil Medvedev in the final.

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