Story at a glance

  • Tennis star Novak Djokovic will be unable to defend his Australian Open championship in January unless he is fully vaccinated.
  • "I don’t have a message to Novak,” Hawke said. “I have a message to everybody that wishes to visit Australia. He’ll need to be double vaccinated."
  • The world’s No. 1 ranked player has yet to reveal his vaccination status, saying it is a private matter.

Tennis star Novak Djokovic will be unable to defend his Australian Open championship in January unless he is fully vaccinated, immigration minister Alex Hawke said Wednesday. 

"You’ll need to be double vaccinated to visit Australia. That’s a universal application, not just to tennis players. I mean that every visitor to Australia will need to be double vaccinated,” Hawke told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio, according to Reuters

"I don’t have a message to Novak,” he added. “I have a message to everybody that wishes to visit Australia. He’ll need to be double vaccinated."

The world’s No. 1 ranked player has yet to reveal his vaccination status, saying it is a private matter.

“Things being as they are, I still don’t know if I will go to Melbourne,” Djokovic said. “I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not. It is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry.” 

“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,” the 34-year-old, 20-time grand slam winner added. 


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Australia's health minister Greg Hunt told reporters Wednesday the country’s vaccine requirements were about protecting citizens.

"They apply to everyone without fear or favour. It doesn't matter whether you are number one in the world or you are anything else," he said.

Meanwhile, Tennis Australia, which organizes the tournament, said it is still working on the details for the delayed event. 

"Our understanding is that the details around international visitors entering the country are yet to be decided and we hope to have more information soon," they said.

Djokovic last competed in The U.S. Open in September where he lost in the final to Daniil Medvedev.


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Published on Oct 20, 2021