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Novak Djokovic on 2022 Australian Open Entry List, Roger Federer and Serena Williams out

Novak Djokovic (R) of Serbia poses for photographs with Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley (L) on Brighton Beach with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup following his men’s singles finals win against Daniil Medvedev of Russia at the 2021 Australian Open EPA-EFE/DAVE HUNT.

By Ricky Dimon

As expected, Novak Djokovic was on the 2022 Australian Open entry list when it was released on Wednesday.

Djokovic’s Covid-19 vaccination status is unconfirmed, and with Tennis Australia requiring the vaccine for participation there has been some uncertainty surrounding the world No. 1’s plans for the first Grand Slam of the upcoming season. Of course, signing in for the tournament doesn’t guarantee a player’s participation. It simply means that a player hasn’t already withdrawn. So if nothing else, the door is at least open for Djokovic to bid for a 10th Aussie Open title next month.

The 34-year-old is also on Serbia’s 2022 ATP Cup roster for the team event that takes place in various cities across Australia earlier in January. Confirmation earlier this week of Djokovic’s ATP Cup appearance only made it more likely that he would assume his spot on the Australian Open entry list.

In similarly unsurprising news, Roger Federer is out along with fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka.

Serena Williams of the USA in action during her first Round Women’s singles match against Laura Siegemund of Germany on Day 1 of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park. EPA-EFE/DAVE HUNT

On the women’s side, Serena Williams has already taken herself off the list. The 40-year-old American has not played since Wimbledon this past summer and she remains stuck on a record-tying 23 Grand Slam singles titles. Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, will also start next year on the sidelines. Neither development comes as a shock, and Williams even provided some encouraging news in terms of her indication that she plans to return to the tour at some point.

“While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete,” the world No. 41 lamented. “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.”

Williams’ last major triumph came at Melbourne Park in 2017.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.