Novak Djokovic Withdraws From ATP Cup; Australian Open Status Unknown

by Sean Randall | December 29th, 2021, 7:30 pm

While Novak Djokovic not playing the ATP Cup isn’t big news or really isn’t even news in normal times, it is today. That’s because had Djokovic confirmed his participation in the competition, it would have all but confirmed his appearance in Melbourne for the Australian Open which is just under three weeks away.

Djokovic’s vaccination status has been the No. 1 question this off season. Is he vaxxed or isn’t he? He hasn’t said. And he doesn’t have to, per se. But, the fact that he isn’t playing the Sydney team event and he hasn’t publicly confirmed playing the Australian Open — where he has history on the line — indicates to me that he and the tournament and the Australian government are currently in talks of a possible medical exemption for the world No. 1.

And until that gets finalized, Djokovic can’t make any statement.

With just a few days before the ATP Cup and the start of the new season, many players are already in Australia. Djokovic still has time — he’d want to be in Melbourne a week before at the latest if that’s even allowable under Australian COVID policy.

So we should hear something from Novak or from the tournament within the week.

Further complicating things for Djokovic, if this variant continues to spread, other events might also require a vaccinated status for entry, and then you could see travel and hotel impacted for those few remaining unvaxxed players.

A few months ago, things were looking brighter for a straightforward start to the tennis season. Now, it’s again day-to-day as players continue to test positive and events scramble to handle the new rise in cases.

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17 Comments for Novak Djokovic Withdraws From ATP Cup; Australian Open Status Unknown

Wog Boy Says:

Everything suggest that this AO will be disaster, the numbers of new omicron cases are doubling on daily basis, all the players and team members will be accommodated in one single hotel, even if they are all vaccinated they still can contract covid somewhere in Melbourne and test positive, they will be automatically disqualified and everyone else who was in contact with them, try to think about that scenario for around four weeks?! The players might be dropping out of competition like a flys. we might end up with running out of the players by the Final😉

Look at Abu Dhabi, for only few days of competition 3 ATP players and 3 WTA players (which was majority of players!) and members of their teams tested positive, and it was only handful of players for only few days, all vaccinated and not 250 plus team members for around 4 weeks?!
Real question is what was the point of someone being vaccinated when he still ended up disqualified?
Just to repeat, this question is coming from the person who is vaccinated and got my booster shot last Monday (it really hurt for three days), I still against young and healthy people being jabbed.

Wog Boy Says:

About ATP Cup Sean. I really doubt Nole intentions were ever to play it regardless of exemption or no exemption, Serbia used his name and points he brings to qualify for ATP, without him listed to play Serbia wouldn’t qualify, he just did the favour to his friend Troicki and boys so they can play and make some money, since they don’t stand a chance, even against Norway with #8 player in the world.

Django Says:

The vaccines aren’t working and the passports are a joke.

Wog Boy Says:

You are not wrong Django, with vaccination rate over 95% in NSW (lot of us even with booster jab) covid cases literally doubled in last 24 hours, from around 6 thousand to over 12 thousand new cases?!
Don’t forget, this is middle of summer, holiday time.

Wog Boy Says:

..and today twice as much as yesterday, even with complete debacle at testing sites and government easing close contact rules, basically abandoning them, only family members are considered close contact, and urging people NOT to get tested unless they feel really sick with covid symptoms:

“ A huge jump in COVID-19 cases has been recorded in New South Wales, with 21,151 new infections diagnosed.

That’s close to double the 12,226 cases reported yesterday, and as many people as were infected nationwide yesterday.“

….and we all (95%) got jabbed, at least twice, what for?!
Farmacomafia is making billions of dollars and terrorist Tedros, who is on their payroll, is still lecturing the world about what to do?!

Wog Boy Says:

In the other news from Melbourne, Pavlyuchenkova tested positive so did Benoit Paire, for the second time in 3-4 months, both with three jabs and the players are yet to start arriving in Melbourne?!

Nole, you are better of going skiing on Kopaonik mountain than wasting your time in Melbourne.

Wog Boy Says:

Don’t get me wrong, but you sound like you are panicking over the virus that is dying out?

Why don’t you check how our forefathers delt with Spanish flue 100 years ago which was far more deadlier than this virus (100 times, killing specifically young people), besides, it’s not really very appropriate when someone from the country of 61.09 vaccination rate lectures other countries and people, even Arabs that you mentioned have better rate.
Please, don’t get it personally, bate chill out, this will pass and Novak has all the rights to do what he thinks is right, he doesn’t own anything to anyone.

As for Monaco, who cares, he can live where ever he pleases, WESTERN WORLD is only the fraction of THE WORLD, smaller one!

Happy New Year

Wog Boy Says:

Since I know you are genuine Nole fan, this is how he prepares for possible AO, outside his apartment in New Belgrade, with ordinary locals, few days ago…do you really need Monaco to have nice lifestyle?!

Django Says:

At least 13 players are positive after being vaxxed twice. Mubadala was a super spreader and so-called vaccine doesn’t protect from getting the virus.
AO will have an asterisk if he doesn’t play.
It’s a tournament decision because there isn’t a vaccine mandate in Australia.

Giles Says:

Bog boy is FOS! “this is how he prepares for possible AO”. LMAO

Wog Boy Says:

Hi Gisele, my apologies, I forgot who I am dealing with, next time I’ll try something more simple.

Wog Boy Says:

Ok Gisele, I’ll walk you slowly through latest news on Djokovic, this is Djokovic practicing in Marbella, court surface is identical to AO:

Wog Boy Says:

Next step Gisele, take your time, no rush, he was practicing with AO tennis balls delivered to Soto Tennis Academy in Marbella?!

Since you love watching Nole here is another one for you:

chrisford1 Says:

“Djokovic represents a sort of crazy variable for this 2022, his presence or not can radically change the fate of a tournament:” Let’s talk clearly, without a vaccine he can only play in Europe and, given which is also required in England, Nole can play only one Slam, that of Paris.

WB, I know that Djoko got the full vaccine treatments as a kid and complied with vaccination requirements to all countries he traveled to previously. I know that for him to take his poodles into the UK, US, the ME – those pooches had to be stuck like pin cushions with Vet-use only approved vaccinations. He also has heard from experts that they recommend people that caught Covid to get vaccinated. Because 35-40% of those who think they had Covid did not get adequate immunity, while more than 55% got ‘better’ immunity than with a vaccine but will have far more immunity with Vaccine + immunity from previous Covid.

For him to shun vaccination by once again getting caught up in some alt medicine quackery – would cripple his remaining tennis career.
His choice. Also his own stupid dumb drama where he starts the new year with a major distraction he caused himself. IF Australia says no, will he finally get his silly butt vaccinated, or will he have the same mess if he applies for a spot for Rotterdam or RIO or Indian Wells?

The world is not in the mood to make VIP exceptions. Other international meetings of leaders, professionals now being scheduled are requiring vaccination by all attendees. Music acts are not allowed into Canada from the US without full vaccination.

czarlazar Says:

Chris Ford again revels in pro-vaxx hysterics and doesn’t content himself with calling Novak a “muttonhead” for not submitting to the experimental shots. Now he switches to full-bore racist mode by saying only stupid people don’t take the shot — and specifically targets blacks, arabs, Americans from southern states and eastern europeans (like Djokovic who probably has an IQ twice his own). Leaving aside the fact that the ‘vaccines’ don’t prevent infection or transmission and are thus completely useless (except for shareholders/executives of Pfizer & Moderna), this commenter should be restrained from pushing his xenophobic and racist views. Moderation, please!

Czarlazar Says:

It was bad enough when Chris Ford, the sanctimonious and pompous dullard, was lecturing Novak Djokovic and everyone on this blog about the virtues of experimental vaccination — in spite of overwhelming evidence the shots are doing nothing to prevent covid infection and transmission. As any third grade student can see by looking at the government’s own daily figures. Now he enters into the despicable depths of demeaning people of certain races and ethnicities who are vaccine skeptics, suggesting they’re lacking in intelligence or education or somehow have cultural shortcomings that prevent them from fully embracing his snobbish cult of injections. He mentions ‘arrogance’ several times in his last post, falsely referencing Djokovic, instead of looking in the mirror and seeing the reflection: an anglo-saxon supremacist looking down at Arabs, Blacks, southern Whites and Serbs for not understanding the ‘benefits’ of what he’s peddling to them — for their own good, even though they’re incapable of comprehending his condescending ‘benevolence.’ Intolerance and bigotry has come to this blog in full force and Chris Ford is its envoy, disgracing himself in the process.

Tennispompom Says:

Chrisford1 and Czarlazar, please stop slagging each other off. There’s no need to be so polarised, can’t you see that the facts lie somewhere in between?

CF1 – just because a vaccine can save the life of one person doesn’t mean that it won’t kill or maim another. One size doesn’t fit all, and one vaccine doesn’t fit all. It’s all about risk / benefit evaluation. People who have natural immunity (having previously recovered from COVID-19, do not need a vaccine, and have at least 13 times better trained immune system than a person who acquired their immunity through vaccination.

Czarlazar – there’s enough prejudice, racism and intolerance in the world already without the need to add any more. And besides, ad hominem attack doesn’t win the argument, only clear and dispassionate points can have any sway.

And, re Djokovic (and others who have received their medical exemptions), two medical panels, blinded as to the individual, granted the medical exemptions. We don’t know who the others are (an interesting fact in its own right!), but in Djokovic’s case, we all know that he has Coeliac disease, an autoimmune condition, and a good reason to receive a medical exemption. Even the food he eats can cause adverse effects, let alone injections of chemicals, such as vaccines. Djokovic is sensible, he’s not the single issue fanatic who avoids injections and medications and certain foods just because it’s a fad – he does it because he understands his body, his genes, his medical history, and acts accordingly. As do all sensible people.

If I were in Djokovic’s shoes, based on general knowledge of his health history, as a casual fan, I would probably have risked taking an inactivated whole virus vaccine, such as Valneva or Sinopharm, even though the AO government only acknowledges a very small subset of available mRNA and Adenoviral vector vaccines (to their shame). I’m inclined to believe that Djokovic is vaccinated with such a vaccine, either the inactivated whole virus vaccine, or an attenuated whole virus vaccine (the latter is slightly higher risk).

And a final thought – mRNA vaccines were difficult to justify for young people in the first place, based on the risk benefit profile even when Delta was rolling through the world. But now that the (very mild) Omicron variant is taking over, against which the legacy S-protein based vaccines are largely ineffective, the risk/benefit calculation tips over to the other side – I’m surprised that public health bodies aren’t shouting about this issue and insisting on better, more effective, up to date vaccines.

There are plenty of elderly, sick and vulnerable people across the globe who have not been offered the vaccine. They aren’t getting the chance to be vaccinated, probably because money is the real driver for vaccine distribution.

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