We’re still quite a bit away from the opening Grand Slam of the 2022 season, and while we eagerly await for the new season to start, we have been introduced to some shocking news regarding the current no.1 player in the world.
As revealed, Novak Djokovic might not participate at the Australian Grand Slam due to his stance on the COVID vaccination. Let’s have a look at our ATP Betting update for the Grand Slam so you can keep planning your bets against the Australian Open odds.
2022 Australian Open Grand Slam News and Updates | Tennis Betting
No Vaccine, No Entry Into the 2022 Australian Open
The 2022 Australian Open is set to kick off on January 17, but the defending champion might be extending his break from tennis. The current world no.1’s might have to delay his quest for his 21st Grand Slam for a couple more months, as his participation at the Australian Open is in doubt after the organizers confirmed all players at the tournament need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
This decision has put the spotlight on the Serb, who has yet to reveal his vaccination status. And furthermore, there have been accusations of blackmail from the player’s father, which prompted a response from Victoria’s sports minister, keeping the tennis offseason exciting for the fans.
Djokovic’s Vaccination Status Uncertain
When asked whether he had taken the COVID-19 vaccine in October, Djokovic responded that his vaccination is a private matter and refused to elaborate further. Things didn’t change now, two months later, as we still don’t know whether the Serb has been vaccinated.
“I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not. It is a private matter,” said Djokovic.
“Too many people today allow themselves such freedom to ask things and condemn a person. Whatever you answer – ‘Yes, I didn’t, maybe, I don’t know, I’m thinking!’ – they will abuse it.
While it’s uncertain whether Djokovic took the vaccine, he was very outspoken about it last year when he stated that he is against it and that he will consider getting vaccinated only if the tournament organizers make it mandatory.
Djokovic Likely To Miss 2022 Australian Open
Nothing is set in stone yet, but it seems like Djokovic is going to miss the 2022 Australian Open. The speculations were further confirmed by his father, who stated that Djokovic likely won’t play under “these blackmail conditions.”
Victoria’s sports minister, Martin Pakula, responded to Novak Djokovic’s father’s claims, stating that the required vaccination is not about blackmail but rather to keep the people in the state protected.
“If you’re a visiting international tennis player or a visiting sportsman of any kind, it’s about your responsibility to the community that you are being welcomed in,” explained Pakula.
“It’s not about blackmail; it’s about making sure the Victorian community is protected.”
Novak Djokovic remains as the bookmakers’ favorite to win the 2022 Australian Open, but if the speculations prove to be true and the Serb doesn’t attend the tournament, we will see a significant shift in the betting markets. Still, it’s very easy to see how the odds would look like in a field without Djokovic.
Daniil Medvedev, who is currently priced as the second-favorite at +290, would take over as the man to beat in Australia. He will be closely followed by Alexander Zverev (+510) and Rafael Nadal in third (+950).
Although a possible scenario, there is still a world where Djokovic takes the vaccine and is eligible to participate. Despite his disagreement with the vaccination requirements, Djokovic would have to consider taking the vaccination sooner or later.
Missing the Australian Open would deny him from completing the Grand Slam, which slipped through his fingers in 2021. And while the Australian Open is currently the only tennis tournament that has the vaccination requirement, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open will likely have the same rules in place.
Current 2022 Australian Open Outright Odds
- Novak Djokovic +168
- Daniil Medvedev +290
- Alexander Zverev +510
- Rafael Nadal +950
- Stefanos Stistipas +1400
- Dominic Thiem +1475