Novak Djokovic will skip the ATP Cup, his team have told Serbian newspaper Blic, putting his Australian Open participation in doubt.
The Australian Open is the first tennis event to have a vaccination mandate and Djokovic has not revealed whether he is inoculated.
“It is 99 percent sure that Novak won’t go to the ATP Cup. He is training here (in Belgrade) but he has decided to give that tournament a miss,” an unnamed member of his team told the Blic.
The ATP Cup in Sydney is a team tournament that traditionally kicks off the men’s season.
Djokovic could win a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, which starts on January 17, but to enter Australia he and members of his entourage will have to be vaccinated.
His father Srdjan said in late November that Djokovic would probably not play the Australian Open and accused the organisers of “blackmail”.
Last week, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley had informed that there will be some medical exemptions available but it is not clear whether Djokovic has applied for that.
Serbia, meanwhile, will continue to feature in the ATP Cup despite the absence of Djokovic. Austria will also compete even though Dominic Thiem has withdrawn from the tournament.
Bulgaria and Croatia were next in line to qualify for the ATP Cup had Djokovic and Thiem withdrawn before the draw was made.