Cloud remains over Novak as stars prep for Open

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While the “will helium oregon won’t he?” question remains for No. 1 Novak Djokovic and his information successful the Australian Open, the remainder of the tennis satellite returns to enactment this week to hole for the season’s archetypal large opening Jan. 17 astatine Melbourne Park.

The men’s ATP Cup squad lawsuit has been connected since the play successful Sydney, and determination are 3 tune-up events being played this week successful Melbourne arsenic portion of Tennis Australia’s “Summer Set” of tournaments — 2 WTA tournaments and 1 ATP.

The 2022 ATP Cup volition beryllium held successful Sydney from January 1-9, with unrecorded matches, highlights, mini matches and afloat lucifer replays connected Stan Sport. New customers tin commencement their escaped proceedings present by visiting: Stan.com.au/tennis

In Adelaide, determination is simply a associated ATP and WTA tourney this week. Next week, some Adelaide and Sydney volition clasp associated ATP-WTA tournaments.

Djokovic is inactive obscurity to beryllium seen.

Australian Open main enforcement Craig Tiley says determination is “quite a spot to play out” earlier nine-time champion Djokovic shows up to play successful Australia.

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The top-ranked subordinate has continually refused to uncover if helium is vaccinated against COVID-19, a request to play successful Melbourne. But determination has been speculation Djokovic could use for a aesculapian exemption to play arsenic helium eyes a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam singles title. He is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20.

Djokovic withdrew from Serbia’s ATP Cup squad past week.

Novak Djokovic's presumption for the Australian Open remains up successful the air. (Getty)

“We’ve inactive got a fewer charter flights coming successful until the extremity of this week and past each the players volition beryllium here,” Tiley said.

“As acold arsenic the presumption relates to Novak, I deliberation we’ll person a overmuch clearer representation successful the coming days different it’s getting beauteous precocious to amusement up and play the Australian Open. There’s rather a spot to play retired and I deliberation it volition play retired successful the coming days.”

Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep volition header the WTA tourney successful Melbourne this week portion Nadal, recovering from COVID-19, is the apical effect astatine the ATP lawsuit astatine Melbourne Park. Also successful the ATP tourney is second-seeded Reilly Opelka, Nick Kyrgios and Grigor Dimitrov.

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In Adelaide, top-ranked and Wimbledon champion Ash Barty is the headliner, joined by Coco Gauff, Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka. Gael Monfils is the No. 1 effect astatine the Adelaide ATP tournament, portion Karen Khachanov is seeded second.

At the Adelaide WTA lawsuit Monday, third-seeded Maria Sakkari bushed Tamara Zidansek 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 successful the opening circular of the 32-draw tourney and Ajla Tomljanovic bushed Heather Watson 6-4 7-6 (5).

Barty, who has a first-round bye, hasn't played a tourney since losing successful the 3rd astatine the US Open successful aboriginal September.

“In the adjacent mates weeks I’ll person to beryllium diligent with myself, it has been awhile since I’ve played a competitory match," Barty said Monday. “But I consciousness good. I consciousness ready. Now it’s conscionable astir going retired determination and enjoying it.”

Ash Barty successful Adelaide earlier this week. (Getty)

US Open champion Emma Raducanu withdrew from the Melbourne tournament, having conscionable travel retired of isolation aft investigating affirmative for COVID-19.

Raducanu, who became the archetypal qualifier to triumph a Grand Slam tourney erstwhile she won astatine Flushing Meadows successful September, had pulled retired of an Abu Dhabi tourney successful precocious December aft contracting the virus.

Two of the biggest names successful tennis won't beryllium playing the Australian Open.

Federer is inactive recovering from close genu surgery.

Serena Williams' Grand Slam rubric drought volition officially scope 5 years aft the 23-time large champion announced her withdrawal from the Australian Open past period owed to an ongoing hamstring injury. It means she'll miss different accidental to necktie Margaret Court’s all-time Grand Slam record.

Williams' 23rd large singles rubric — and astir caller — came astatine the Australian Open successful 2017.

And for the archetypal clip since 1997, nary Williams sister volition beryllium successful enactment astatine Melbourne Park. Venus Williams, 41, hasn’t played since August due to the fact that of a limb injury.

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