US Open champion Daniil Medvedev says he is willing to play in the Australian Open but would not commit himself to doing so with only players vaccinated against Covid being allowed to compete. The 25-year-old Russian said he agrees with world number one Novak Djokovic and that medical records should be confidential and private. It looks all but certain that only those players who have been vaccinated will be allowed to compete in the first Grand Slam of the season which gets underway in Melbourne on January 17.
Despite a leaked email from the WTA last week suggesting unvaccinated players could quarantine for 14 days, the Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews ruled that out saying no exemptions would be made.
Nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic is one of many players who have refused to share their vaccination status, casting doubt over whether he will defend his title.
Medvedev did not elaborate on his own status but says he is keen to add back-to-back Slam titles.
“Look I want to play there,” he told a press conference ahead of the Paris Masters, where he is the defending champion, via Zoom on Sunday.
“I always said I really like Novak’s answer which is I want to keep my medical, no matter if it is a head or leg injury, private.
“That is for a reason as tennis is such a brutal sport where you are always one on one with your opponent and any information you give him can go against you.
“I decided at one point to keep my medical information private unless it is obvious.”
“So for example if you are playing Australia you are clearly vaccinated.”
“I am willing to play in Australia but I won’t say if you will see me there in January.”
Medvedev — who still entertains hopes of replacing Djokovic as world number one by season’s end — said it will be interesting to see who plays in the opening Slam of 2022.
“It will be easy to see who has been vaccinated if they play in Australia,” said the world number two.
“Of course you can say you are injured which is true sometimes, but I am willing to play in Australia and that is all I have to say.”
This year’s Australian Open was hit hard by the pandemic with all players going through two weeks of quarantine, while crowds were restricted and a five-day snap lockdown called mid-event.
Fully vaccinated players are expected to be able to enter Australia without quarantining or being confined to bio-secure bubbles, the leaked email added.
Tennis Australia said earlier this week it was working with both the Victorian and federal governments on conditions for players, saying it was “optimistic that we can hold the Australian Open as close to pre-pandemic conditions as possible”.
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