SYDNEY (AP) — Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the ATP Cup in Australia ahead of the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, organizers said Wednesday.
No reason was given but the top-ranked Serb has declined to comment on his vaccination status in recent months and Australia’s strict regulations require all players, officials and fans to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
ATP Cup organizers disclosed Djokovic’s withdrawal in a roster update that included France replacing Austria in the 16-country event following the withdrawals of Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak. Dusan Lajovic will replace Djokovic for Serbia.
Fifth-ranked Andrey Rublev of Russia also pulled out, as did teammates Aslan Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy.
The Australian Open men’s entry list announced in early December had the 34-year-old Djokovic at No. 1 in what was seen as a further indication that he’ll be playing at Melbourne Park beginning Jan. 17 despite Australia’s tight regulations.
The nine-time Australian Open champion is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the men’s record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles.
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