Novak Djokovic out of the ATP Cup

No.1 in the world, Novak Djokovic, has withdrawn from the ATP Cup tournament for men’s teams in Sydney, but his participation in next month’s Australian Open is still uncertain.

His omission from the prelude event, which starts on Saturday, adds to the intrigue of whether the star and his pursuit of a record-breaking 21st major title will still be a backdrop for the Australian tennis summer.

Novak Djokovic is out of Sydney's ATP Cup.

Novak Djokovic is out of Sydney’s ATP Cup.Credit:AP photo

In a statement, Tennis Australia said the top-ranked Serbian team will now be led by world number 33 Dusan Lajovic.

In other changes, Russia has been hit hard by the loss of Andrey Rublev and last year’s Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev.

Djokovic’s withdrawal comes as around 3,000 players and their support staff arrive in Sydney or Melbourne to get a jam-packed tennis calendar in Australia.

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Last week, Australian Open boss Craig Tiley expressed confidence that two of the world’s biggest names, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal – who tested positive for COVID-19 after an exhibition event at the UAE – will play the first major in 2022.

Tiley also confirmed that a “small number” of tennis professionals and staff will receive medical exemptions from vaccination to come to Australia.

Djokovic, who is set to battle for a 10th Australian Open title, has repeatedly refused to disclose his vaccination status.

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