Novak Djokovic has pulled out of this week’s ATP Cup in Sydney, organisers stated on Wednesday, heightening doubts over whether he will protect his Australian Launch title.

There has been intense speculation as as to whether he will stride back and forth to Australia, having refused to ascertain if he has been inoculated in opposition to the coronavirus.

“World No.1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the 2022 ATP Cup,” organisers stated in an announcement before Saturday’s delivery to the crew occasion.

“Crew Serbia will now be led by world No.33 Dusan Lajovic.”

Djokovic, the nine-time Australian Launch champion, would possibly well possess a file 21st Enormous Slam title if he plays at Melbourne Park next month, but to enter Australia he and individuals of his entourage need to be vaccinated.

He has beforehand expressed his opposition to the vaccine and his father Srdjan stated in late November that Djokovic would possibly well now not play the first Enormous Slam of the yr, accusing the organisers of “blackmail”.

Djokovic has been named in the entry list for the Australian Launch, which starts on January 17, but he would possibly well but withdraw. He was additionally at the initiating on the entry list for the ATP Cup.

Tennis Australia has organised structure flights to verbalize world stars into Melbourne and Sydney.

Defending ladies’s Australian Launch champion Naomi Osaka was amongst these to the contact down on Tuesday, but Djokovic was now not on board. Avid gamers can additionally opt to cruise industrial.

The ATP Cup has been hit by a lot of withdrawals — either due to Covid or injury — and consequently France will replace Austria in Crew B after Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak pulled out, organisers stated on Wednesday.

Crew Russia’s Andrey Rublev, who has Covid, Aslan Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy maintain additionally withdrawn, the ATP Cup stated, as has the US’s Austin Krajicek.

Covid appears to be like to be spot to forged a sad shadow over the Australian Launch and the raft of tournaments in the nation beforehand.

Spanish basic particular person Rafael Nadal, who was due to play a warmth-up occasion in Melbourne next week, was amongst a lot of avid gamers to maintain reduced in size the virus at an Abu Dhabi exhibition occasion this month.

His Abu Dhabi opponent, Wimbledon semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov, additionally later tested particular.

Three female avid gamers at the identical occasion additionally tested particular — Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic, US Launch champion Emma Raducanu and Wimbledon quarter-finalist Ons Jabeur.

Earlier Wednesday, Cut Kyrgios urged Nadal and Djokovic to play at the Australian Launch, asserting it would possibly well maybe be a “catastrophe” if the ‘Immense Three’ maintain been lacking.

Swiss ace Roger Federer has already pulled out as he recovers from a knee injury and Nadal’s plans are unclear.

The dominant ‘Immense Three’ maintain won 20 Enormous Slam titles each and each and Kyrgios stated tennis tranquil needs them, starting in Melbourne next month.

“I genuinely do now not know Novak’s fresh blueprint back with one thing else Covid-connected or what he needs to play,” the vibrant Kyrgios informed the Melbourne Age newspaper.

“I hope he’s had a simply Christmas and I hope he’s ready to play in the sport for so lengthy as doable because I’ve voiced earlier than I mediate Federer, Nadal and Djokovic ought to tranquil be (playing).

“If all three will now not be there, it be a catastrophe.”

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