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Djokovic withdraws from ATP Cup

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World number one Novak Djokovic will not compete at the upcoming ATP Cup in Sydney which adds to speculation whether he will be at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

ATP Cup organisers announced on Wednesday that Djokovic “has withdrawn” from the team tournament that starts on Saturday.

No reason was given but Djokovic has never talked about his coronavirus vaccination status, saying it is a private matter.

The Serb was on the Australian Open entry list as of Wednesday but only vaccinated players are allowed to compete at the Melbourne grand slam.

Should Djokovic play the Australian Open which starts on Jan. 17, he could also have some tune-up matches in the week of Jan. 10 at events in Adelaide or Sydney.

Djokovic is a nine-times Australian Open champion and tied on a record 20 grand slam titles with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Federer will not be in Melbourne owing to injury, while Nadal could be doubtful after recently contracting the coronavirus.

The Djokovic announcement was part of an ATP Cup roster update, with France replacing Austria after withdrawals of former US Open champion Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak.

Dusan Lajovic will replace Djokovic for Serbia.

Russia led by world number two Daniil Medvedev will aim to defend their title in spite of three withdrawals, including Andrey Rublev who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Olawale Alabi

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