After months of hypothesis that Novak Djokovic could miss the Australian Open over powerful Covid vaccination necessities, the world primary was on Tuesday named to play in a Sydney event weeks earlier than.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion had solid doubt on whether or not he would defend his title at Melbourne Park subsequent month, refusing to disclose whether or not he was inoculated in opposition to coronavirus.
However, he was listed as a part of the five-man Serbia staff when the draw was made for the ATP Cup in Sydney that may precede the opening main of the 12 months.
Rafael Nadal was lacking, with the Spanish fellow 20-time Grand Slam winner final month suggesting he would play an exhibition in Abu Dhabi this month, then one other event earlier than arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open.
The solely different absent high 20 gamers for the 16-team ATP Cup was injured Swiss nice Roger Federer.
“The playing group enjoy representing their countries and to see 18 of the world’s top 20 players commit to the event is testament to that,” stated event director Tom Larner. “The event shows off the passion the playing group has for this format.”
An ATP assertion accompanying the draw famous that high seed Serbia was “headlined by world number Novak Djokovic”, who gained three of the season’s 4 Grand Slams.
The 34-year-old ended his rollercoaster season with a Davis Cup defeat final week after which promised to decide on his Australian Open participation “very soon”.
Organisers of the Australian Open have insisted solely fully-vaccinated gamers will probably be allowed into the nation, which noticed Djokovic’s father Srdjan final month counsel his son “probably won’t” play.
“Of course he would want to go with all his heart,” he instructed Serbian tv.
“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.”
Djokovic contracted Covid-19 through the ill-fated Adria Tour occasion he organised within the Balkans in June 2020, however stated he didn’t undergo from any signs.
Russia are the defending ATP Cup champions after their staff spearheaded by Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev swept previous a Matteo Berrettini-led Italy within the remaining.
Djokovic’s Serbia gained the inaugural occasion in 2020, overpowering the Nadal-led Spain.
The groups in subsequent 12 months’s US$10 million occasions, from January 1-9, are divided into 4 teams of 4, taking part in throughout two Sydney venues — the Ken Rosewall Arena and Qudos Bank Arena — with every tie comprising two singles matches and one double.
Top seeds Serbia had been grouped with Spain, Norway, and Chile, whereas Russia will face Italy, Austria, and home nation Australia.
Germany, led by reigning ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev, headline Group C in opposition to Canada, Great Britain, and the United States, whereas Greece, that includes world quantity 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, are in Group D with Poland, Argentina, and Georgia.
It kicks off a bumper sequence of ATP and WTA tournaments within the lead-up to the Australian Open, starting on January 17, with occasions throughout Sydney, Adelaide, and Melbourne.