Stefanos Tsitsipas' blunt verdict on Novak Djokovic missing ATP Cup – 'Rules are rules'

Stefanos Tsitsipas has had his say on Novak Djokovic’s decision to miss this week’s ATP Cup in Sydney, revealing that he believes ‘rules are rules’.

Djokovic told his Serbian teammates this week that he would not be competing at the team event Down Under, and this has once again thrown further doubt on his chances of playing next month’s Australian Open.

This comes after the event’s organisers, and Australian politicians announced all players wishing to compete in the opening Grand Slam of the year must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or be exempt from the jab.

As a result the world No. 1 and defending champion has repeatedly refused to disclose his vaccination status, leading many to believe he will not be in Melbourne come the 17th of January.

This obstacle would again be a perfectly valid explanation as to why Djokovic has pulled out of this week’s ATP Cup – which also takes place in Australia.

One man who will be in Sydney though is world No. 4 Tsitsipas, and the Greek has given his views on Djokovic’s absence reiterating that all rules must be followed if players are to compete in the Aussie-based event.

He said: “Rules are rules, and they are established for a purpose. 

“So if some players decide not to follow them, it’s their choice. I wouldn’t say it’s right or wrong here.

“I followed whatever was necessary in order for me to come in Australia.”

Of course the absence of Djokovic from some of the sport’s biggest events is no doubt a huge blow for tournament organisers, fans and the wider tennis world.

However, Tsitsipas did offer some support to Serbia admitting that the world No. 1’s choices must be respected.

“If Djokovic thinks he is not ready to play ATP Cup for whatever reason, it is his choice,” commented the world No.4.

“I think most of the players respect his choice. What can I say? The ATP Cup will lack on great player this year.”

The absence of the world’s best player from this week’s event no doubt gives the rest of the field more optimism that they could be the nation walking award with the ATP Cup title.

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