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2022 Australian Open: Djokovic Headline Entry List for Men’s Singles Draw
Wednesday, 12/15/2021
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Novak Djokovic is the bookmakers’ favorite to win the 2022 Australian Open, but it’s uncertain whether he’ll attend the event due to Victoria State’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate. Djokovic automatically registered on the general entry list this week, but he’s yet to confirm his vaccine status. Thus, fuelling speculation ahead of the first major of the upcoming season across markets and amongst tennis fans the world over. 

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Don’t look now, but the 2022 Australian Open is just around the corner! The first major of the upcoming season will get underway on Monday, January 17 and conclude on Sunday, January 30 when it crowns its men’s singles champion. 

Novak Djokovic, the nine-time Australian Open Champion and defending champion three years running, is expected to headline the 2022 Australian Open draw. Well, that’s the case as of now, according to the entry list that was announced this week by tournament organisers. And to a lesser extent, according to the Australian Open futures odds on offer right now across multiple betting markets that install the Serbian starlet as the top favorite to win the title coming in at +110.

 “Defending champion Djokovic will play for an incredible 10th Australian Open trophy — and a men’s record 21st major singles title — and will be the favorite in a draw which showcases 49 of the world’s top 50,” the statement from tournament organisers said.

The Australian Open included Djokovic in its main draw entry list for the summer tournament, despite widespread speculation surrounding the Serbian’s participation in the year’s first major and his most successful of the four annual grand slam tournaments. 

But Victoria State-wide Covid-19 mandate requires all players hoping to participate in this year’s instalment of the event to be vaccinated. Djokovic has previously claimed to be against compulsory vaccination, and he’s been vocal about his vaccine scepticism on a number of occasions. 

Sharing his thoughts on a live Facebook chat with fellow Serbian athletes earlier in the year, he said, "I am opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel." 

During the same chat, he did add that his opinion could change if the circumstance warranted it. “If it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision. I have my own thoughts about the matter, and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don't know. “ [Source: ESPN News]

In a recent interview with Serbian television, Prda TV, Djokovic’s father, Srdjan, called the conditions to participate in January’s tournament “blackmail” and cast doubt on his son’s participation in the event as a result. 

He talked about the many tennis fans and Serbians living in Australia that would “be delighted to see Novak” at the 2022 Australian Open. “But I really don't know if that will happen. Probably not under these conditions, with this blackmail and when it's done that way," said Srdjan Djokovic. 

Understandably, after weeks of uncertainty surrounding Djokovic’s vaccination status, Wednesday’s announcement by the Australian Open sparked confusion amongst tennis fans who took to sports forums to discuss Djokovic's odds of participating Down Under. 

The confusion prompted Craig Tiley, chief executive of Tennis Australia, to clarify that the announcement was merely an entry list and not a commitment list for the summer tournament Down Under. 

Tiley stressed that the list was “a matter of course,” and  “everyone goes on the entry list.” He added that it wasn’t a “commitment list about who’s exactly in the draw. That comes in several weeks’ time, when the actual list, and draw, get finalized for the Australian Open.”


Therefore, it’s still uncertain whether Djokovic will be heading to Australia in the New Year. One thing Tiley did reiterate was that “no one can play the Australian Open unless they’re vaccinated. 

The World No.1 is the winningest player at the Australian Open, a feat that has earned him top consideration with bookmakers to win his tenth Australian Open title in 2022. 

Should Djokovic win a tenth title, which is currently a bet tipped at +110 with (or thereabouts depending on the choice, top-rated sportsbook), he’ll match a record set by World No. 6 Rafael Nadal four years ago. He would also separate himself from his peers with a 21st major single title.

Rafael Nadal is the only player to have won ten (or more) titles at a single Grand Slam event. The Spaniard accomplished the feat at the French Open in 2017. He’s added three more Roland Garros titles to his credit since (2018, 2019 and 2020). He is coming in at +1200 to win the open.

Djokovic’s motivation to break all records and establish himself as the GOAT of tennis has no bounds. 

Last season, the Serbian starlet picked up three of the four major titles on offer to level Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the history books with the most grand slam title wins (20). 

Djokovic started 2021 by winning his ninth Australian Open title and then he won his second French Open Title. His 20th grand slam came at the All England Club when he clinched his sixth Wimbledon Championships triumph. 

In picking up the first three majors, Djokovic was in a position to pull off the Calendar Grand Slam which had only ever been accomplished by the legendary Rod Laver. The Australian pulled off the Calendar Grand Slam in 1962 and 1969. 

Alas, Djokovic’s dream of becoming the first ATP player in the Open Era to replicate Rod Laver came crashing down at the final hurdle. Russia’s Daniil Medvedev denied Djokovic the glory in a surprising straight-set rout at the US Open final.


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