Unvaccinated players could still be allowed to play at the 2022 Australian Open despite initial statements suggesting that players without a double dose will not be granted a visa to enter Australia.
In a leaked email to the WTA Tour, Tennis Australia seem to suggest that unvaccinated players will be able to compete in the first Grand Slam of the year. They will be expected to complete a 14-day hotel quarantine and produce a negative RT-PCR test upon arrival in Australia.
Recently, the Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews had indicated that unvaccinated athletes competing in any sport will not be granted visas to enter the country. However, the leaked email published by Ben Rothenberg suggests otherwise, raising questions about the final decision as players make their plans.
Novak Djokovic remains the biggest player yet to disclose his vaccination status, with the Serbian not keen to speak openly about his decision. However, the world number one admitted that he could miss the tournament he has won nine times owing to Australia's stringent rules during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
"Things beings as they are, I still don't know if I will go to Melbourne," Djokovic said. "I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not, it is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry."
The other top players that have shown scepticism with regards to taking the vaccination are US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. The email to the WTA asked the players to keep the news under wraps for a few days as Tennis Australia was still in negotiations with the government.
Victoria state sports minister Martin Pakula said that no decision had yet been confirmed with regards to the entry of unvaccinated athletes into the country. The 14-day quarantine will be similar to what all the players went through in 2021, with many not even being allowed to train.
"It's not settled," Pakula said, as quoted on RTE. "We are still resolving with Tennis Australia and the Commonwealth whether unvaccinated foreign nationals will be allowed into Australia at all and if so, under what circumstances they will be allowed."