Novak Djokovic will not have COVID-19 vaccination imposed on him, says father

The father of Novak Djokovic has dropped the biggest hint yet that the world No.1 hasn’t had a COVID-19 vaccine, instead hoping to be granted a medical exemption to play in next month’s Australian Open.

Djokovic’s vaccination status has been the subject of much speculation, with the Serbian refusing to confirm whether or not he’s had the jab, claiming that such information is private.

All players are required to be double vaccinated to take part in the Australian Open, or receive a medical exemption from an independent body.

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Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley said last week the process to apply for an exemption would be “fair and independent” and at arm’s length from TA.

Speaking to Serbian TV, Srdjan Djokovic gave the impression his son wasn’t vaccinated, and will instead rely on an exemption to travel to Australia.

“They have to decide whether they will let Novak in,” he said.

“If they decide (not to let him in), they have to stand behind their decision.

“He has won the Australian Open nine times, he now wants to play – but they have to permit him to play.

“Novak will do what he thinks is the best for him, nobody will impose an opinion on him.”

Djokovic is level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 grand slam titles. Federer has already announced he will miss the Australian Open due to injury, while Nadal yesterday announced he’d tested positive to COVID-19, throwing his preparations into disarray.

It’s now possible that all three will be missing from next month’s tournament, meaning the race for a 21st slam will be on hold until Roland Garros in May.

Regardless of whether or not Djokovic adds a 10th Australian Open title to his resume in January, his father has set out a timeline for the rest of his career, indicating the 34-year-old is unlikely to emulate Federer in trying to play into his 40s.

“He will win a few more grand slam titles until he retires. I think four or five (more titles),” he said.

“He will win at least twice in Wimbledon and some other slams for sure.

“Do you doubt that? You don’t need to be an expert, but Novak will play for another two to three years and this will be enough.”

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