Report: Australian Open Draw Postponed amid Novak Djokovic Uncertainty

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2022

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 05: The giant Australian Open logo is seen full of tennis balls ahead of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 05, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Tennis fans looking for the Australian Open draw will have to wait a little longer.

Stuart Fraser of Times Sport reported the draw was "canceled until further notice" on Thursday around 3 p.m. local time.

Tumaini Carayol of The Guardian reported the draw was later moved to 4:15 p.m. local time. 

This comes as the status of Novak Djokovic is unknown heading into the year's first major tournament.

Tennis insider Ben Rothenberg noted the world's top-ranked men's player would be replaced by someone who lost during qualifying if he dropped out after the Day 1 order of play is released. If he dropped out during the tournament, his opponent would be granted a walkover and advance in the bracket.

Whether Djokovic plays will go a long way toward determining how the men's tournament unfolds.

After all, he is the three-time defending champion at this event and has won nine Australian Opens in all. He is also tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer with 20 grand slam titles, and his absence could open the door for Nadal to win.

Djokovic defeated Nadal in the Australian Open final in 2012 and 2019.

Jessie Yeung and Adam Renton of CNN provided updates on the situation, noting Djokovic's visa was canceled when he arrived in Australia without a valid exemption to its vaccination requirement. While a judge ruled Monday he should be permitted to stay, he is waiting for a decision from the Australian immigration minister.

What's more, "officials were investigating possible inconsistencies in documents related to Djokovic's December PCR result and his movements in the days after he tested positive for Covid-19 in Serbia."

For now, there is no draw, and Djokovic's status remains up in the air.