The Brisbane ATP and WTA tournament was canceled on Thursday due to local corona measures.

The event is a preparation tournament for the Australian Open, where many participants are still expected despite the vaccination requirement.

In addition, it was announced on Thursday that the ATP Cup will be played entirely in Sydney.

The Nations Cup was previously also played in Brisbane and Perth.

Previously, the Perth, Hobart and Auckland tournaments were canceled in January.

There are strict entry rules in Australia with a quarantine obligation to prevent the spread of the corona virus.

As a result, the country has been relatively mildly affected by the pandemic, although strict lockdowns were regularly in place.

In addition to the Australian Open, the ATP Cup and the tournaments in Sydney, the ATP and WTA tournament in Adelaide will also continue in January.

Players must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Australia.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley expects a large majority of the players to travel.

"Currently, more than 85 percent have been vaccinated," Tiley said in a radio interview with Australian broadcaster

SEN

.

"I expect the percentage in January to be between 90 and 95 percent. Because if you don't get vaccinated, you can't play."

The tournament director understands the vaccination obligation that the state of Victoria has introduced.

"There can be no preferential treatment for athletes. The same rules apply to them as to the rest of the population."

It is still uncertain whether Novak Djokovic will defend his title at the Australian Open.

It is still uncertain whether Novak Djokovic will defend his title at the Australian Open.

Photo: Reuters

Australian Open hopes for Djokovic participation

The most famous player who may not play in Melbourne due to the vaccination obligation is Novak Djokovic.

The nine-time winner of the Australian Open is keeping his vaccination status a secret, because he says it is a private matter.

Tiley expects the Serb to simply be part of the field of participants.

"He will be happy to win the tournament for the tenth time."

"Djokovic has twenty Grand Slam victories, making him the record holder together with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. He will not want anyone else to take the record," said the tournament director hopefully.

Last year, Djokovic was very critical of the corona measures in Australia.

Tiley doesn't expect that to have made him unpopular with the public, who will be fully welcomed in January.

"He is one of the best players of all time."

"His opinion on some things is different from that of the majority. But I don't believe that the spectators will approach him in a different way because of that."

The Australian Open starts on Monday, January 17.

The ATP Cup, the first edition of which was won by Djokovic with Serbia in 2020, will start on January 1.

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