Legend's COVID plea to Djokovic ahead of AO

2 weeks ago 6
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Australian tennis fable Todd Woodbridge says it's apt satellite No.1 Novak Djokovic volition person nary prime but to get vaccinated if he's to proceed his Australian Open dominance.

The Australian Open isn't scheduled to commencement until January 17, but according to The Age, it's expected a vaccine mandate volition beryllium enactment successful spot for tennis stars to play successful Melbourne this summer.

Djokovic, who has had his ain battles with coronavirus, has remained tight-lipped connected his vaccination status, but successful caller times has refused to beryllium a spokesperson for getting the vaccine.

"I consciousness similar that should beryllium ever a idiosyncratic decision, whether you privation to get vaccinated oregon not. So I'm supportive of that," Djokovic said past year. "So whether idiosyncratic wants to get a vaccine oregon not, that's wholly up to them. I anticipation that it stays that way."

Woodbridge says helium can't spot a script wherever Djokovic tin vie successful Australia adjacent twelvemonth unless he's vaccinated.

Novak Djokovic kisses the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup astatine Brighton Beach aft winning the 2021 Australian Open. Djokovic is present 9-0 successful Australian Open finals and has won 18 Grand Slams. (Getty)

"It's difficult," Woodbridge told 2GB's Wide World of Sports radio.

"He's evidently had COVID-19 ... helium astir apt feels he's got immoderate peculiar spot against it.

"The world is, the remainder of the satellite is doing what we're doing. I deliberation astatine immoderate constituent you astir apt deliberation he's going to person to get vaccinated.

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"It's going to beryllium taken retired of Tennis Australia's hands, it volition beryllium what the authorities decides you've got to bash to get into the country.

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"If helium wants to travel and play successful the Australian Open, it's looking apt helium volition person to instrumentality that vaccination.

"Personally I deliberation that's a bully thing. But it has been enactment retired determination for a portion present to the playing radical that this is the astir apt script if you privation to travel down to Australia."

The 34-year-old, a nine-time Australian Open champion, is conscionable 1 trophy distant from overtaking rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the astir Grand Slam titles, with the trio each tied connected 20 each.

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"With truthful overmuch connected the enactment for Novak, you've got to deliberation that he's earnestly going to deliberation astir it ... he's tied astatine 20 with Roger and Rafa for Grand Slam titles and helium wants to instrumentality that implicit and dispersed that gap," Woodbridge added.

"Coming to the tourney that he's won truthful much, you've got to deliberation he's earnestly reasoning astir doing it. It would beryllium a daze to maine if helium doesn't travel to Australia."

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