Djokovic named in Serbia team for 2022 ATP Cup in Sydney

Novak Djokovic was named in the Serbian team for the men's season-opening ATP Cup in January in Sydney, although the world number one was yet to commit to the Australian Open following the organisers' mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations.

FILE PHOTO: Novak Djokovic was named in the Serbian team for the men's season-opening ATP Cup in January in Sydney, although the world number one was yet to commit to the Australian Open following the organisers' mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Novak Djokovic was named in the Serbian team for the men's season-opening ATP Cup in January in Sydney, although the world number one was yet to commit to the Australian Open following the organisers' mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Djokovic, who has won a record nine titles at Melbourne Park including the last three, has repeatedly declined to reveal whether he has been vaccinated against COVID-19, with Australian Open organisers Tennis Australia confirming that all players would have to be vaccinated to compete in Melbourne.

To play without being vaccinated in Sydney, the capital of New South Wales state, the state government would have to apply for an exemption for Djokovic and the 34-year-old would have to undergo 14 days quarantine upon arrival.

 

That same option was also open to the Australian Open organisers, but the government in Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, has said it would not apply for exemptions.

READ: Canada's Andreescu to sit out Australian Open

The draw for the third edition of the ATP Cup was held in Sydney on Tuesday and the organisers said top seed Serbia, headlined by Djokovic, will lead Group A, which will also feature Norway, Chile and Spain.

While Djokovic's participation will be a huge boost for Serbia and the tournament, Rafa Nadal will not feature for Spain.

The 20-times major champion struggled with back issues at the start of 2021 before pulling out of Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics with a foot problem.

The 35-year-old Spaniard, who last played in August at the Citi Open, is aiming to return at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi this month before playing another tournament in his buildup to the Australian Open.

The 2022 ATP Cup will feature 16 teams and be hosted across two venues at the Sydney Olympic Park from Jan. 1-9 with the players vying for $10 million in prize money.

Defending champion Russia, led by world number two and US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, was grouped with this year's finalist Italy, Austria and host Australia, who will not have maverick Nick Kyrgios in its team.

The winner of each of the four groups will advance to the semi-finals.

Group A - Serbia, Norway, Chile, Spain

Group B - Russia, Italy, Austria, Australia

Group C - Germany, Canada, Britain, United States

Group D - Greece, Poland, Argentina, Georgia

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