Novak Djokovic Withdraws From ATP Cup: Report

Novak Djokovic saw his quest for the Calendar Slam end in defeat.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has reportedly pulled out from the forthcoming ATP Cup according to a reliable Serbian source. The 16-team tournament which served as tennis’ curtain-raiser in the past two seasons will kick off on New Year’s Day.

Serbian newspaper Blic was the first to break the news about Djokovic’s withdrawal from the ATP Cup.  However, the report fell short to mention whether he will travel to Australia to compete for the first Grand Slam of the year.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner will not travel to Sydney – the host city of the team tournament – as initially planned. Instead, he will remain in Belgrade where he is doing charity work for his Foundation and spending quality time with his family. Djokovic is also training in Serbia’s capital rather than at his customary off-season training block in Marbella.

With Djokovic out of the equation, Filip Krajinovic will take over as the No. 1 player in Serbia’s ATP Cup team.

Is Novak Djokovic Vaccinated?

The report does not disclose Djokovic’s vaccination status. In fact, it posed more questions rather than answers. Djokovic himself remains tight-lipped when pressed to give accountability on the subject.

Shortly after Serbia’s Davis Cup defeat at the hands of Croatia at the start of December, Djokovic >candidly replied in the post-match press conference, “You will be informed. I cannot give you a date, obviously, Australia is around the corner you will know very soon.”

Even Craig Tiley doesn’t know if Djokovic is vaccinated or not. The >Australian Open chief said, “We would love to see Novak here. He knows he has to be vaccinated in order to play.”

Tiley also expects the Australian Open to take place without any capacity limits. However, everyone on-site including fans must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Last month Tennis Australia reached a unanimous decision with the Victorian state government to impose mandatory vaccination for all players who will take part in the Australian summer season.

Djokovic is aiming to win an unprecedented 10th title at Melbourne Park. Should it happen, he will break the men’s Grand Slam record count of 20 titles. He is entered into the players’ entry list for the Australian Open as revealed by the tournament organizers earlier this month. But his participation is a major question mark following this curious withdrawal.

Djokovic was recently pictured on the streets of Belgrade on Christmas day. He casually hit tennis balls with the locals and posed for pictures. The  34-year-old played a key role in steering his country to victory in the inaugural ATP Cup in 2020.

Main Photo from Getty.