Novak Djokovic’s participation in the 2022 Australian Open continues to be in strong doubt. Happy Slam Director Craig Tiley recently confirmed that unvaccinated players will not be eligible for the first Slam of the season. The world number 1 was asked to comment on this announcement following the semi-final defeat at the ATP Finals to Alexander Zverev. The Serbian phenomenon was once again very evasive on the subject and did not want to reveal his vaccination status. A few days ago, Roger Federer made official his withdrawal from the Australian Open and also questioned his presence at Wimbledon. With the Swiss removed, the best players on the ATP circuit are expected to travel to Melbourne next January. Rafael Nadal himself will return to the field in December in the traditional performance held in Abu Dhabi. The eventual absence of Nole from the AOs would be a major blow to the tournament, as the 34-year-old from Belgrade has taken home the last three editions. Speaking on the Tennis Channel, Andy Roddick took stock of the situation.
Roddick on the 2022 season
“We’ll see. We’ll have to wait and see,” Novak Djokovic said. “I haven’t been talking to them, to be honest. I was just waiting to hear what the news is going to be. Now that I know, we’ll just have to wait and see.” In this context, Andy Roddick recently opined that Rafael Nadal would be itching at the chance to win the record-breaking 21st Major in the absence of nine-time champion Djokovic. “We don’t know what’s going to happen with Australia,” former world No. 1 Andy Roddick said on Tennis Channel. “Nobody knows except Novak what he’s going to do and if he’s going to play the game the way it has to be played to participate in Australia. If he doesn’t, opportunity’s knocking for Medvedev, Zverev, Rafa’s going to be foaming at the mouth to get there and get to that 21st Slam so these other guys, they have to play their tournament either way,” Roddick added. “We used to say who’s the next generation that’s going to compete for Grand Slams,” Roddick said. “Well they’re here, they’re doing it, they’re winning big titles, now it’s how long is the Big 3 going to hang on and be part of this conversation. We’re seeing the transition.” The 2021 ATP season officially ended with Alexander Zverev defeating Daniil Medvedev to lift his second ATP Finals title. And so, tennis fans are already looking forward to the 2022 season, awaiting Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s return.