Australian Open confirms players must be fully vaccinated for 2022 event
Australian Open Director Craig Tiley confirmed on Saturday that players must be fully vaccinated to take part in the upcoming tournament in January 2022.
Sydney [Australia]: Australian Open Director Craig Tiley confirmed on Saturday that players must be fully vaccinated to take part in the upcoming tournament in January 2022.
"There's a lot of speculation about vaccination and just to be really clear, when the Premier announced that everyone on site ... will need to be vaccinated ... we made that clear to the playing group," Tiley told local news outlet 9news.
The remarks will put further pressure on World No.1 Novak Djokovic, who has refused to comment on his vaccination status. As the state of Victoria where Melbourne locates required all players in major events to be fully vaccinated, the ban could put Djokovic's chances of a Grand Slam in jeopardy.
Despite this, the tournament is expected to welcome a couple of big names including Rafa Nadal, Ash Barty, Serena Williams, and Naomi Osaka.
The tournament also announced the back of a full Grand Slam program including two weeks of lead in tournaments, the return of AO Qualifying and the AO Junior Championships.
A brand new 5,000-seat stadium and a new dining precinct, along with media facilities and broadcast studios, revealing the final stage of the 10-year redevelopment of the Melbourne Park, will be unveiled during the two-week event scheduled from January 17 to 30.
Record crowds are also expected for AO wheelchair events, as multi-Grand Slam champion and Paralympic gold medallist Dylan Alcott plays his final tournament before retiring from the sport.