The Government of the Australian state of Victoria, which hosts the Australian Tennis Open next January, indicated this Wednesday that the mandatory vaccines against covid-19 to enter the country are not “blackmail”, in response to the statements of the father of world number one, Novak Djokovic.
“It has nothing to do with blackmail but with making the Victoria community more protected,” Victoria’s Sports Minister Martin Pakula told the media, after the tennis player’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, questioned that his son is going to participate in the Australian Open for the obligation of the vaccine to enter the country, which he considered a “blackmail”.
“If you are an international tennis player or an athlete of any kind visiting the country, you will be welcomed based on your responsibility to the community. And that is why we ask international tennis stars to meet the same requirements as the Victoria residents, “Pakula said in statements collected by the public network ABC.
Djokovic, who has not wanted to reveal if he has been vaccinated against covid-19, would like to play the tournament “with all his heart”, according to his father, who stressed to Serbian television Prva TV that “under these blackmails and conditions he may not will do “. “I would not do it. And he is my son, because the conclusion can be deduced,” said in the interview broadcast on Sunday the father of the current champion of the tournament, who has won nine times.
Tennis players are required to have a vaccination certificate to participate in the Australian Open, as recently confirmed by Craig Tiley, tournament director. Tiley said that the authorities of the state of Victoria, where the competition is held, announced the mandatory nature of the vaccine and this was communicated to the players.
If he wins at the next Australian Open, which will be held in Melbourne between January 17 and 30, Djokovic could surpass Spanish Rafael Nadal and Swiss Roger Federer with 21 Grand Slam titles.