Sydney, 7 December 2021 (dpa/MIA) — ATP Cup organizers on Tuesday listed world number one Novak Djokovic among the “committed players” to compete in the January 1-9 ATP Cup in Sydney, raising hopes the champion will take part in the Australian Open later in the month.
Organizers said that Djokovic would be among the 18 of the top 20 players in the ATP Rankings to take part in the nations team event, which will kick off the 2022 tennis season ahead of the Melbourne major set to start on Jan. 17.
At the launch of the event in Sydney on Tuesday, “it was revealed world No.1 Novak Djokovic and world No.2 Daniil Medvedev are the top-ranked singles players for Serbia and defending champions Russia respectively,” an ATP Cup media release said.
Djokovic’s home country Serbia, which won the inaugural ATP Cup in 2020, is leading group A, which also features Chile, Norway and Spain.
All players wishing to play in the Australian Open in Melbourne must be vaccinated against the coronavirus, due to vaccination mandates in the hosting state of Victoria.
This requirement put the participation of nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic in doubt given that he has repeatedly refused to reveal his vaccination status, saying it’s a personal matter.
His father recently stated that vaccination mandates in the state of Victoria were tantamount to “blackmail,” an accusation that state authorities rejected.
While the same requirements don’t apply to the ATP Cup and its host state of New South Wales, Djokovic’s listing in the tune-up tournament makes his participation in the slam appear more likely.
A 10th victory in Melbourne Park would take the Serbian to a record 21 grand slam titles.