Novak Djokovic's appearance at the 2022 Australian Open is looking increasingly doubtful after his father Srdjan hinted that his son could miss the first Grand Slam of the year. The world number one's father hit out at Australia's "blackmail" as they continue to insist that only vaccinated players will be allowed to compete in Melbourne in January.

The Serbian star has been non-committal with regards to his vaccination status, making it clear that it remains a personal matter that does not require public scrutiny. Victoria premier Daniel Andrews made it clear that athletes that have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 will not be granted visas to compete in the first major of the 2022 season.

"He would want it with all his heart because he's an athlete, and we would love that too," Srdjan said of his son's appearance in Melbourne, as quoted by The Age. "Under these blackmails and conditions, he probably won't. I wouldn't do that. And he's my son, so you decide for yourself."

Novak Djokovic
Calendar Grand Slam for Novak Djokovic Anne-Christine POUJOULAT/AFP

Australian Open CEO Craig Tiley is certain that 95 percent of the players will be fully vaccinated by the time the tournament gets underway in Melbourne, with 85 percent of the players already double jabbed.

"Today more than 85 per cent are (vaccinated)," Tiley said. "And we take a lot of credit for that because we put a vaccination requirement on it."

"We think by the time we get to January it will be between 90-95 per cent vaccinated because if you're not, you cannot play."

Australian Open organisers will be hoping Djokovic, who will be among the biggest crowd pullers, can make an appearance at the year's first major tournament. The Serbian ace will be the favourite if he competes, having already won the event on nine occasions, which includes the last three editions.

There is a possibility that Australia will grant entry to unvaccinated players, but will insist that they complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine. However, it remains to be seen if players will accept it, after struggling with the same situation prior to the 2021 Australian Open.

Djokovic has stated previously that he remains in talks with Tennis Australia, as he is also keen not to miss a chance to add a 21st Grand Slam title to his kitty and move ahead of Big Three rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with whom he is currently tied on 20 men's singles Grand Slam titles.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are on collision course in the French Open Thomas SAMSON/AFP