Australian Open chief Craig Tiley said that he is confident about Rafael Nadal’s participation at next month’s Grand Slam despite the Spaniard testing positive for Covid-19, but he is still uncertain whether Novak Djokovic will be playing.
Nadal tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi and said he would make a decision on his future tournaments depending on his “evolution” over the weeks ahead.
“I’m confident Rafa will be here,” tournament organizer Tiley said.
“Players that are testing positive now will complete a period of time until they are no longer infectious and they will be fine. If you are going to test positive and you want to play the Australian Open, your timing would be now.”
Tiley reiterated that all players and staff at the Australian Open would be vaccinated or have a medical exemption granted by an independent panel of experts.
‘Djokovic wants to play Australian Open’
Tiled opened up on Djokovic’s presence at the Australian Open 2022, saying that the Serbian tennis star wants to play the tournament but his vaccination status remains uncertain. However, he admitted a small cohort of players and staff would be allowed into Melbourne Park without being vaccinated after being granted medical exemptions.
Tiley further said that if the world number one was going to play for Serbia in the ATP Cup in Sydney in the first week of January, then he would be arriving with the first tranche of players next week.
“If Novak shows up at the Australian Open, he’ll either be vaccinated or he’ll have a medical exemption,” he added.
“Medically, he doesn’t talk to anyone about it. I’m not going to ask Novak that, it’s none of my business.
“I will know that (he fulfills) one of those conditions.