all players must be vaccinated against Covid-19

The court at Melbourne Park, during the Australian Open final between Serbian Novak Djokovic and Russian Daniil Medvedev, February 21, 2021.

All players playing the Australian Open will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19, tournament manager Craig Tiley confirmed on Saturday, November 20. Thus the pressure is increasing on the world number one, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, nine times titled in Melbourne and who refuses to say if he is vaccinated or not.

The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, will be held January 17-30 in Melbourne. With two hundred and sixty days of cumulative confinement, Australia’s second city is one of the cities in the world that has been placed under cover for the longest.

Last month, the state of Victoria, whose capital is Melbourne, had already ruled out granting a special exemption to unvaccinated players so that they could participate in the tournament.

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“There is a lot of speculation about vaccination and, to be quite clear, when the Prime Minister [de l’Etat de Victoria] announced that everyone on the site should be vaccinated, we let the players know ”Mr. Tiley told Channel Nine television. “All players understand it, our sponsors will need to be vaccinated, all staff working at the Australian Open will need to be vaccinated”, he insisted.

“We would like to see Novak here”

Novak Djokovic, who could aim for a historic twenty-first Grand Slam title in Melbourne, “Said he considered it a private matter”, continued Mr. Tiley. We would like to see Novak here. He knows he will have to be vaccinated to play here. “

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Asked Saturday after his defeat in the semi-finals at the Turin Masters, Djokovic has still not commented on his participation. “We’ll see, we’ll just wait and see [ce qu’on fait] “, he contented himself with declaring at a press conference.

For the 2021 edition, scheduled for February instead of January, the players and their coaches had to observe a quarantine of two weeks at the hotel. The capacity to accommodate spectators was set at 30,000 per day, or 50% of the total capacity. During the tournament, a five-day confinement was declared in the state.

Organizers said the stands could be full this time around, with the state’s vaccination rate approaching 90%.

Mr. Tiley confirmed the participation of Rafael Nadal, also in search of a twenty-first Grand Slam coronation. In the ladies’ category, world number one Ashleigh Barty will be present, as will defending champion Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, who is aiming for a twenty-fourth Grand Slam.

The World with AFP


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