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Djokovic and Medvedev Doubts For the 2022 Australian Open
Monday, 12/27/2021
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The 2022 Australian Open takes place at Melbourne Park from January 17, with Novak Djokovic holding the honor of being the tournament’s defending champion. Djokovic has won the Australian Open a staggering nine times, but there are serious doubts about whether Djokovic will take to the court and attempt to move his Australian Open victories into double figures.

Djokovic is the clear favorite to win the 2022 Australian Open but do not jump at the chance to use your sportsbook bonus on a Djokovic victory because the Serbian may not be in Melbourne to defend his title. The world number one, who has almost $155 million in career earnings, is still to confirm whether he will travel to Melbourne, where it is mandatory for players to be vaccinated.

Djokovic is a skeptic of vaccines
Tennis fans will have a good idea about Djokovic’s vaccination status in just over a week because he is due to headline the evening session of the ATP Cup team event on January 1, 2022. Djokovic has not confirmed his attendance to the event’s organizers. It is well-documented that the nine-time Australian Open champion is a vaccine skeptic.

Two powerful lures are tempting Djokovic to change his stance. First, he is keen to join Rafael Nadal as the only players on the planet to have won ten or more titles at a single Grand Slam event. Second, winning the 2022 Australian Open would give Djokovic a record 21 singles titles.

Djokovic won the 2021 Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon. Everything pointed towards him winning a Calendar Grand Slam, but he lost to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final in straight sets.

Medvedev’s participation is in doubt
Medvedev is the second-favorite to win the 2022 Australian Open, but, like Djokovic, there are doubts about his participation. Despite being fully vaccinated, Medvedev’s fellow Russian, Natalia Vikhlyantseva, the world number 194, will not feature at Melbourne Park. Vikhlyantseva opted for the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, which Australian authorities have not authorized.

Vikhlyantseva took to Twitter to inform her fans about the organizers’ decision.

“Unfortunately, I will not participate in the year AO event. I’m really happy with the level of tennis I showed on a last few events, and I wish to play in Australia, but Sputnik is not verified yet. Good luck for all participants and AO team, who always made amazing events.”

Vikhlyantseva’s withdrawal from the tournament casts some doubts about world number two Medvedev taking part. However, the Russian Tennis Federation president confirmed Medvedev is fully vaccinated and should not have any issues regarding playing at the Australian Open.

“Our tennis players will not have any problems with admission to the Australian Open. And all the leading athletes who played for the national teams in the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup have already been vaccinated.”

Medvedev is in great form coming into the Australian Open and will be the clear favorite to win if Djokovic decides not to compete. Indeed, many consider the 25-year-old as the favorite anyway because he beat Djokovic 64 64 64 in the US Open final in August. However, in November, Djokovic exacted revenge in the APT Masters 1000 Paris when the Serbian won 46 63 63.

If Not Djokovic or Medvedev, Who?
Although the Russian Tennis Federation is confident of Medvedev being given the green light to compete in the 2022 Australian Open, there are significant doubts. If both he and Djokovic pull out or are prevented from playing, German world number three Alexander Zverev would emerge as the tournament’s favorite. Zverev defeated Medvedev 64 64 in the Nitto ATP Finals in Italy on November 21

It would not be a smart move to write of the chances of Rafael Nadal either. The 35-year-old Spaniard is currently the fourth-favorite but is considered a long shot for the title. However, if the Australian Open takes place without Djokovic and Medvedev, Nadal’s stock will undoubtedly rise.