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Australian Open director expects up to 95% of players to be vaccinated by January

MELBOURNE, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Australian Open event director Craig Tiley expects up to 95% of skilled players will be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 by the time of the Grand Slam in January however is not sure whether or not Novak Djokovic will be amongst them.

Tiley mentioned Victoria state’s strict vaccination mandate had motivated players to get their photographs earlier than Melbourne Park, the place followers and employees may also be banned if unvaccinated.

Tiley additionally mentioned he had spoken to world primary Djokovic, the Australian Open males’s champion, however was none the wiser as to the Serbian’s vaccination standing.

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“Today more than 85% are (vaccinated),” Tiley mentioned of skilled players on native radio station SEN on Thursday.

“And we take a lot of credit for that because we put a vaccination requirement on it.

“We suppose by the time we get to January it can be between 90–95% vaccinated as a result of for those who’re not, you can’t play.”

Tiley said there were “one or two players” who had medical exemptions from vaccination but the exemptions were in line with Victoria’s health rules.

“And so it ought to be, as a result of there shouldn’t be any preferential therapy coming into the state in contrast to what the common neighborhood goes by way of,” he said.

Djokovic has declined to disclose his status, saying it is a matter of personal choice, and was non-committal about defending his Australian Open title when asked about it at the ATP Finals. read more

“Novak has received 9 Australian Opens, I’m positive he desires to get to 10,” said Tiley.

“He’s on 20 Grand Slam titles as is Rafa Nadal, who’s coming, and Roger Federer.

“One of them is going to surpass the other and I don’t think Novak would want to leave that … to someone else.”

Though massively profitable at Melbourne Park, Djokovic has rubbed native followers the fallacious manner at instances and was pilloried in January for making an attempt to safe higher quarantine circumstances for players as they remoted within the lead up to the 2021 event.

Tiley didn’t anticipate followers would give Djokovic a tough time if he appeared on the event as a result of it might imply the Serb had received with the programme and vaccinated.

“He’s one of the greatest players of all time,” mentioned Tiley.

“He’s had a view on something, some share (it) and the majority don’t. And I think there will be fair treatment of Novak.”

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Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford

Tennis - Australian Open - Men's Singles Photo Shoot - Brighton Beach, Melbourne, Australia, February 22, 2021  Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia talks to the media during a photo shoot at Brighton Beach REUTERS/Loren Elliott

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