Melbourne: Good news for Tennis fans around the world – world No. 1 Novak Djokovic has been named in the main draw entry list for the Australian Open 2022, which commences in Melbourne on January 17. Djokovic’s vaccination status garnered headlines around the world and the development came as a welcome development following intense speculation. The 34-year-old was included in the entry list for ATP Cup in Sydney. Meanwhile, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams will not participate in year’s first Slam.Also Read - Australian Open: Andrey Rublev Cruises Into Third Round, To Clash With Croatia's Cilic

Defending champion Djokovic is among 104 male players on the entry list, released by Tennis Australia on Wednesday. The Serbian great’s participation in the Australian Open was in doubt as the tournament organisers had issued a mandate, saying all players playing in the season’s first Grand Slam should be vaccinated. Also Read - Australian Open 2022: Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna Knocked Out Of Doubles Event In First Round

Djokovic has kept the Australian Open organisers and his fans guessing about his Covid-19 vaccination status, adding to the uncertainty over whether he will compete in the major. Also Read - Novak Djokovic's French Open Participation Uncertain

In a sign that he has perhaps got vaccinated, Djokovic has committed to playing in the ATP Cup in Sydney, a lead-up tournament. However, a Herald Sun report suggested on Wednesday that the Serbian could get medical exemption to compete in Melbourne.


But the Victorian government categorically denied Djokovic had been exempted, saying that unvaccinated players will not play at the Australian Open.

“My view on this is really clear and really simple. Everyone’s looking forward to the Australian Open and everyone who will attend — spectators, players, officials, staff — everyone is expected to be fully vaccinated,” Victorian Deputy Premier James Merlino was quoted as saying by sen.com.au.

“They’re the rules. Medical exemptions are just that; it’s not a loophole for privileged tennis players. It is a medical exemption in exceptional circumstances if you have an acute medical condition. My view and I think the view of all Victorians, the expectation of all Victorians is that everyone who attends the Open — player spectator, staff, officials, everyone’s fully vaccinated.”

Djokovic’s father Srdjan recently said that Novak “probably won’t” play the Australian Open beginning January 17 as the tournament organisers’ decision to not allow unvaccinated players — or players who don’t share their Covid-19 vaccination status — amounts to “blackmail”.

20-time Grand Slam champion – Roger Federer is also not named in the entry list at Melbourne Park.