Continuing on the controversial beginning to the 2022 tennis season, the main draw announcement of the Australian Open for both the men and women has been “cancelled until further notice” after an original scheduled release for 3:00pm local time on Thursday.
(Edit: Shortly after this article was written, the tournament announced the draw would be delayed for only over an hour, to 4:15pm.)
Though there has been no official reason given for the cancellation, it is fair to speculate that it has a lot to do with presumptive #1 seed and nine-time champion Novak Djokovic. Djokovic’s status for the Australian Open still remains unclear, though his actions are now directly affecting other players who will be in the field.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to hold a 3:45pm press conference local time. Whether that has anything to do with the Djokovic situation is unclear.
What could happen with Djokovic?
Five scenarios are in play for the Australian Open in regard to the World #1’s status.
1. Djokovic is pulled out before the the draw is announced. Current #2 seed Daniil Medvedev becomes the #1 seed. Every other player moves up a seed line.
2. Djokovic is pulled out after the draw is announced, but before Day 1 order of play is released. Current #5 Andrey Rublev would be moved to the 1 line, #17 Gael Monfils would move to Rublev’s line, and #33 Alexander Bublik would move to Monfils’ line.
3. Djokovic is pulled out after Day 1 order of play is released. In this case, he would be replaced by a Lucky Loser who lost in the final round of qualifying.
4. Djokovic takes the court during the tournament and is subsequently pulled out. His next opponent would receive a walkover and advance to the next round.
5. Djokovic is allowed to compete for the entire tournament.
Make sure to stay tuned in to Last Word on Tennis for continuous updates on this very fluid situation.
Main Photo from Getty.