Middle East

Djokovic withdraws from the ATP Cup, deepening suspicion of the Australian Open

Madrid: Serbian Novak Djokovic is back in the Croatian and Serbian men’s singles semifinals at the Madrid Arena. Djokovic has withdrawn from the ATP Cup in Sydney, the organizers said yesterday in speculation about his vaccination status and whether he will keep the Australian Open title. -AFP

Sydney: Organizers said yesterday that Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from this week’s ATP Cup in Sydney and is questioning whether he will keep the Australian Open title. There was fierce speculation about whether he would travel to Australia as he refused to check if he had been infected with the coronavirus.

“The world’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the 2022 ATP Cup,” the organizer said in a statement prior to the start of the team tournament on Saturday. “Team Serbia will be led by Dusan Lajović, the world’s No. 33.” Jokovic, who won the Australian Open nine times, will play at Melbourne Park next month for a record 21st Grand Slam title. However, to enter Australia, he and his aides must be vaccinated.

He had previously expressed opposition to the vaccine, and his father, Srdjan, accused the organizers of “blackmail” in late November, stating that Djokovic would probably not play the first Grand Slam of the year. Djokovic is on the Australian Open entry list starting January 17th, but has not yet been able to withdraw. He was originally on the ATP Cup entry list. Tennis Australia has organized a charter flight to take international stars to Melbourne and Sydney.

He defended Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka on Tuesday, but Djokovic did not participate. Players can also skip commercials. According to the organizers, the ATP Cup has suffered several withdrawals due to either COVID or injury. As a result, France replaced Group B Austria after Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak withdrew. According to the ATP Cup, team Russia’s Andrey Rublev, with COVID, Aslan Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy, has withdrawn as well as Austin Krajicek in the United States.

COVID appears to cast a dark shadow in advance on the Australian Open and national tournament rafts. Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal, who was scheduled to hold a warm-up event in Melbourne next week, was one of several players infected with the virus at this month’s Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament. His Abu Dhabi opponent, Wimbledon semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov, also later tested positive.

Three female players also tested positive at the same event. Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic, US Open champion Emma Raducanu and Wimbledon quarter-final Ons Jabeur. Yesterday, Nick Kyrgios urged Nadal and Djokovic to play at the Australian Open, saying that if the “Big Three” goes missing, it will be a “disaster.” Swiss ace Roger Federer has recovered from a knee injury and has already withdrawn because Nadal’s plans are unclear.

The dominant “Big Three” have each won 20 Grand Slam titles, and Kyrgios said he still needs tennis in Melbourne next month. “Honestly, I don’t know Novak’s current situation about anything related to COVID or what he needs to play,” colorful Kyrgios told the Melbourne Age newspaper. “I hope he had a good Christmas. I hope he can play in the sport for as long as possible because I screamed before Federer, Nadal and Djokovic thought they needed to (play). “If all three aren’t there, it’s a disaster.” — AFP

https://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/djokovic-withdraws-from-atp-cup-deepening-australian-open-doubts/ Djokovic withdraws from the ATP Cup, deepening suspicion of the Australian Open

Back to top button