Djokovic ‘doesn’t know’ if he’ll play Australian Open

World No.1 Novak Djokovic says he doesn't know if he will defend his title at the Australian Open in January, citing continuing concerns over COVID-19 restrictions.

Djokovic, who would be aiming for a fourth straight victory at Melbourne Park, and a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title, told Serbian media that many players have "bad memories" of this year's tournament, where 72 players were forced into hard quarantine for two weeks.

The 34-year-old once again refused to disclose whether or not he's been vaccinated against COVID-19. The Victorian government recently made it compulsory for essential workers, which includes professional athletes, to be vaccinated, although it's not yet clear if that applies to overseas players.

Novak Djokovic

"Things being as they are, I still don't know if I will go to Melbourne," Djokovic told the Serbian publication Blic.

"I will not reveal my status, whether I have been vaccinated or not, it is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry.

"People go too far these days in taking the liberty to ask questions and judge a person. Whatever you say 'Yes, no, maybe, I am thinking about it', they will take advantage."

Djokovic won three of this year's four major titles, falling to Daniil Medvedev in the final of the US Open as he sought to become the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the calendar year Grand Slam.

Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic share a laugh during the trophy presentation

He's now drawn level with long-time rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer with 20 Grand Slam titles, although Australian legend Todd Woodbridge recently told Wide World of Sports that he believes the era of the 'Big Three' is over, following Medvedev's breakthrough win in New York.

Djokovic said hotel quarantine increased the risk of injury once the tournament began.

"Of course I want to go, Australia is my most successful grand slam tournament," he said.

"I want to compete, I love this sport and I am still motivated.

"I am following the situation regarding the Australian Open and I understand the final decision will be made in two weeks.

"I believe there will be a lot of restrictions just like this year, but I doubt there will be too many changes.

"My manager, who is in contact with the Australian tennis federation, tells me they are trying to improve the conditions for everyone, both for those who have been vaccinated and those who have not."

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