Novak Djokovic’s vaccine ‘blackmail’ claims denied by Australian officials

Novak Djokovic

It is looking increasingly unlikely that Novak Djokovic will play at the Australian Open.

Australian Open officials have denied that they imposing a vaccine ‘blackmail’ on Novak Djokovic in light the requirement for players to be fully vaccinated to compete in this year’s tournament.

Djokovic has been steadfast in his belief that he should not be vaccinated against his will in order to compete Down Under.

But with no movement in that sense, the Serbian star stressed that he would not take the vaccine against his will, and tournament organisers remaining with the same stance, insisting that nothing has changed from their end.

As a result, Djokovic’s father claimed earlier this week that he was being ‘blackmailed’ into taking the vaccine, but that claim has been denied by Australian Minister Martin Pakula.

Novak Djokovic Australian Open claims rubbished by MP.

“Under these blackmails and conditions, (Djokovic) probably won’t (play),” Srdjan Djokovic told Serbian media before Pakula hit back.

“If you’re a visiting international tennis player, or a visiting sportsman of any kind, it’s about your responsibility to the community that you are being welcomed into,” Pakula told Australian media.

“And that’s why we are asking those international tennis stars to follow the same requirements as Victorians are.

“It’s not about blackmail, it’s about making sure the Victorian community is protected.

“I want to make it clear that I really hope that Novak Djokovic gets vaccinated and plays in the Australian Open.

“But if he chooses not to, that’s a matter for him.”

Novak Djokovic.

Ahead of the upcoming Australian Open, Djokovic comes into the tournament as the reigning champion, winning nine titles.

As a result, he is now the joint-record Grand Slam holder, level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and he is likely to eclipse their haul shortly.

But as of now, he appears very unlikely to do so during the upcoming Australian Open at least, unless this impasse is brought to an end.

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