Novak Djokovic declined to reveal his vaccination status in an interview on Monday as Australian officials say they believe unvaccinated players will not likely be granted visas to compete at the Australian Open in January.
Djokovic revealed during an interview with a local Serbian media outlet that he is unsure of his plans to travel to Melbourne for the Grand Slam with “things being as they are,” referring to the COVID restrictions in Australia.
“I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not, it is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry,” he added, via Reuters. “People go too far these days in taking the liberty to ask questions and judge a person. Whatever you say ‘Yes, no, maybe, I am thinking about it,’ they will take advantage.”
Daniel Andrews, premier of the state of Victoria, said Tuesday that unvaccinated players risk missing out on the season’s first Grand Slam.
“I don’t think an unvaccinated tennis player is going to get a visa to come into this country,” he said, via The Washington Post. “and if they did get a visa, they’d probably have to quarantine for a couple of weeks when no other player has to. … I don’t think any other tennis player, or golfer, or Formula One driver, will even get a visa to get here.”
Andrews indirectly pointed his remarks at Djokovic, the men’s world No. 1 and nine-time Australian Open champion.
“[The virus] doesn’t care what your tennis ranking is, or how many Grand Slams you’ve won,” he said. “It’s completely irrelevant. You need to be vaccinated to keep yourself safe and to keep others safe.”
Djokovic says he wants to compete but is awaiting final word from event organizers.
“I am following the situation regarding the Australian Open and I understand the final decision (on COVID-related restrictions) will be made in two weeks. I believe there will be a lot of restrictions just like this year, but I doubt there will be too many changes.”