Novak Djokovic makes winning start to ATP World Tour Finals in London with a straight sets win over Diego Schwartzman as the Serbian admits doubt over the Australian Open
- The 33-year-old Serbian beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman in straight sets
- A recent Covid outbreak in Adelaide has put the Australian Open in doubt
- Victoria’s state Premier Daniel James has given no assurances it will take place
- Djokovic admitted his concerns over how the start of next season will play out
Sixteen months after his last Wimbledon triumph, Novak Djokovic got to play in London again on Monday, across town at the O2 Arena.
Yet it was renewed doubts about the viability of January’s Australian Open — the tournament he has dominated like no other — which were on the 33-year-old Serb’s mind.
Melbourne has become Djokovic’s banker tournament — he has won it seven times. After beginning his ATP Finals campaign with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, he admitted he still does not know the structure of a 2021 season that is already fraught with problems.
Novak Djokovic got his ATP finals campaign off to a good start by beating Diego Schwartzman
Argentine Schwartzman lost the in straight sets to Djokovic on centre court at the 02 arena
Fears are growing over the Australian Open’s status after Victoria’s state premier Daniel Andrews slapped down assumptions that it will definitely go ahead.
The politician was responding to a Tennis Australia announcement that all events in January will be restricted to Melbourne, Victoria’s capital city.
‘The notion that this is all a done deal is simply wrong,’ said Andrews. ‘The public health team needs to sign off on all of these arrangements and they are just not settled.
‘The Australian Open is a massive event. It’s an event that all of us love, but it comes at a time when the rest of the world is on fire.’
State Premier Daniel Andrews hasn’t give assurances the Australian open will take place
Tennis Australia has spent months negotiating for players and their support groups to be allowed to train and practice while serving a 14-day isolation period upon arrival. But a recent outbreak in Adelaide after weeks of no Covid cases has put the whole country back on alert.
Djokovic, a hugely influential leader in the locker room, conceded that he does not yet know how the start of next season will play out.
‘It is challenging, I must say,’ he said. ‘We don’t know whether the ATP Cup (team event) is happening. I sincerely hope everything will happen as normal. Obviously you want things to be ideal, but what is ideal in these circumstances? We really don’t know.’
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