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Djokovic withdraws from ATP Cup, doubts persist over his Australian Open participation

In a surprising move, the world No 1 won’t be at the year’s first team tennis event

Novak Djokovic Tennis – Davis Cup Semi-Finals – Serbia v Croatia – La Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – December 3, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his match against Croatia’s Marin Cilic (Panoramic)

Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the ATP Cup, set to be held in Australia from January 1 – with doubts persisting on whether or not he will play at the Australian Open.

The Serbian has refused to comment on his Covid-19 vaccination status – and the state and federal government have made vaccination mandatory for incomers to the country.

The ATP Cup have now confirmed that Djokovic will not be playing their event in Sydney – and that Team Serbia’s leading singles player will now be world No 33 Dusan Lajovic.

The rules of the ATP Cup mean that a country is guaranteed entry courtesy of its highest ranked singles player, if he chooses to participate.

France will replace Austria in Group B following the withdrawal of both Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak. The French team will comprise Ugo Humbert, Arthur Rinderknech, Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Fabrice Martin.

Team Russia’s Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy have also withdrawn, and Evgeny Karlovskiy comes in for the defending champions. 

Team USA’s Austin Krajicek has also withdrawn. 

The ATP Cup will begin on Saturday 1 January at 10am local time at both Ken Rosewall Arena and Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park.

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