Novak Djokovic has been named on the entry list for next month’s Australian Open, while Serena Williams has withdrawn on medical grounds.
There is still uncertainty around nine-time Aussie Open champion Djokovic’s participation in the tournament after players were told they would have to be fully vaccinated in order to participate.
Djokovic, who is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 grand slams, has not revealed his vaccination status; last month, his father said he is likely to skip the tournament over the vaccine mandate.
This week, the world No. 1 was named in Serbia’s team for the season-opening ATP Cup in Sydney, New South Wales. To play without being vaccinated, the state government would have to apply for an exemption for Djokovic and he would have to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Nadal will compete for the first time since August, while last year’s finalist Dominic Thiem will make a comeback from a wrist injury at Melbourne Park.
Ashleigh Barty headlines the women’s singles draw as she bids to win her first grand slam title on home soil.
Alongside her will be defending champion Naomi Osaka and US Open champion Emma Raducanu, who will make her Australian Open debut.
Seven-time champion Serena Williams has announced that she will not be competing in Melbourne, saying: “Following the advice of my medical team, I have decided to withdraw from this year’s Australian Open. While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete.
“Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the AO every year. I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level.”
The tournament, the first grand slam of the tennis calendar, runs from January 17 to January 30.