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Australian Open warmup tourney canceled due to vaccination concerns

Sep 10, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after winning a break point against Alexander Zverev of Germany (not pictured) in the fifth set on day twelve of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after winning a break point against Alexander Zverev of Germany (not pictured) in the fifth set on day twelve of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

A prime Australian Open warmup tournament waas canceled Tuesday for the second year in a row over concerns about COVID-19 vaccination regulations in Melbourne.

The Kooyong Classic was scheduled for January, and organizers Tuesday said hopes are it can return in 2023.

But without clarity as to what rules will be in effect, such as full vaccination for players to play in Melbourne at pre-tournaments and the Australian Open, organizers pulled the plug for 2022.

“With the great deal of uncertainty over recent months about the arrangements that would be in place in January, it has not been possible to make the best plans to deliver the best and safest sporting (event),” Kooyong Classic president Adam Cossar said in a statement.

The premier of Victoria, the state that hosts the Australian Open, has said he wants all players coming to Melbourne to be fully vaccinated against the virus.

“All the people who are watching the tennis at the Australian Open, they’re going to be double-vaxxed, all the people that work there are going to be double-vaxxed,” Daniel Andrews said on a radio appearance.

“It stands to reason that if you want to get into the country to be part of that tournament, then you should be double-vaxxed as well.”

Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are the defending champions. Djokovic continues to decline to reveal whether he is fully vaccinated.

–Field Level Media