CEO and Tournament Director Craig Tiley said all players flying into Melbourne from across the world, staff and fans will need to be double dosed – under guidelines set out by the Andrews government and Victoria Health – in order to attend.
“There’s a lot of speculation about vaccination … everyone on site will need to be vaccinated in order to participate in the Australian Open,” he said at the launch of the event on Saturday.
“And there has been a lot of speculation around Novak’s position. He has noted that and said publicly that it’s a private matter for him but we would love to see Novak.
“He knows he has to be vaccinated in order to play.”
World number one men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic will need to disclose his vaccination status in coming weeks if he wants to participate at the Australian Open. Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Tennis Australia CEO and the Tournament Director Craig Tiley said Djokovic knows he needs to be vaccinated in order to play. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Tiley advised only 50 per cent of travelling players had been inoculated but that number was increasing towards 80 and 100 per cent in the last six week.
He hopes the fan-favourite Serbian star would be able to attend for a chance to win his 10th Australian Open title and become the greatest of all time by eclipsing two other legendary players in total Slams.
Djokovic is currently tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with 20-Slams a piece.
“I think he’d love to make it a double digit at 10 times,” Tiley said.
“He is also on 20 Grand Slam tiles and that’s the same as Roger … Rafa will be here and he wants to, similar to where Novak will be, get to that elusive 21. And then who would be the greatest of all time?”
Andrews: Unvaccinated tennis players have no right to play in Australian Open
Djokovic has refused to reveal his vaccination status and said he would be deciding on his Australian Open attendance once Tennis Australia confirmed the protocols.
“Well, I’m going to decide on whether I go to Australia or not after I see the official statement from Tennis Australia,” he said earlier this month in his first press conference since his US Open final loss in September.
“Right now, we don’t have any official announcement or statement. So until that’s out, I won’t be talking about this anymore, because I don’t want to be part of the stories about the assumptions and what-ifs.”
World number one Ashleigh Barty will be leading the women’s side as she aims for glory at home. Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images
World number one women’s tennis player, for a third consecutive year, Ash Barty, will lead the ladies side with Serena Williams to return to compete for an equal record of 24 titles with Margaret Court.
For the first time ever, the women’s semi-finals match will be played in the evening to celebrate 100 years of women’s tennis in Australia.
“That’s our inspirational day when we celebrate the great work that women have done around the country and the leadership that women have shown,” he said.
“It means the last four (semi-final) prime time sessions are equally shared between men and women.”
The Australian Open begins in Melbourne from January 17 to 30.

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