Tennis, Australian Open, Novak Djokovic, ATP Cup, Serbia

The Serbian teammates of Novak Djokovic say that even they have no idea why the world No. 1 does not compete in the ATP Cup, which starts on Saturday.

The organizers dropped a bomb on Wednesday when they confirmed that Djokovic would not attend the event, despite being included on the initial list.

Today, his teammates and compatriots faced the media and were naturally seasoned with questions about the absent champion.

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Dusan Lajovic denied any knowledge of Djokovic’s decision before it was made public.

“I do not know the official cause, but maybe ATP knows it,” Lajovic said.

“He just said he’s not going to the ATP Cup and he’s trying to get to the Australian Open.

“He said, ‘I’m not going guys to the ATP Cup, we’ll see about the Australian Open.’ I mean, he did not specify whether he will come or not, but that he is waiting for a decision.”

All eyes are on Djokovic and whether he wants to take part in the Australian Open, which starts on January 17, or not.

He has so far refused to disclose his COVID-19 vaccination status.

Athletes are required to be vaccinated before flying to Victoria unless they can obtain a medical dispensation.

Lajovic says the announcement this week surprised him.

“We knew it, I think, a day and a half ago or something,” Lajovic said.

“I think we’re all waiting for that decision at the last minute, and it’s never the same when you have No. 1 on your team and you do not have it – it’s a big difference.

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“Obviously, when Novak is on the team, expectations get much higher, and of course everyone puts the focus on Novak, and tries to pressure the whole team.

“Right now we might be a little on the sidelines and it could be good for us, it could be bad – we’ll see.

“But it’s definitely different and we’ll see what happens after the tournament and how it goes.

“I think he hoped the same as we did that he would somehow be here, but unfortunately he is not and we have to deal with it.”

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