Djokovic leaves ATP Cup teammates in the dark

The Serbian teammates of Novak Djokovic say even they have no idea why the world No.1 is not competing in the ATP Cup, which starts Saturday.

Organisers dropped a bombshell on Wednesday when they confirmed Djokovic will not compete in the event, despite having been included in the initial list.

Today, his teammates and countrymen faced the media and were, of course, peppered with questions about the absent champion.

READ MORE: Cricket legend and Ashes referee David Boon positive for COVID-19

READ MORE: Bailey opens door for Swepson selection

Dusan Lajovic denied any knowledge of Djokovic’s decision before it was announced publicly.

“I don’t know the official reason but maybe the ATP knows,” Lajovic said.

“He just said that he’s not coming to the ATP Cup and he’s trying to get to the Australian Open.

“He said, ‘I’m not coming guys to the ATP Cup, we’ll see about the Australian Open’. I mean, he didn’t specify if he’s coming or not but that he’s waiting for a decision.”

All eyes are on Djokovic and whether he will contend the Australian Open, beginning January 17, or not.

He has so far refused to divulge his COVID-19 vaccination status.

Athletes are required to be vaccinated before flying into Victoria, unless they can get a medical exemption.

Lajovic says the announcement this week caught him off guard.

“We knew, I think, a day-and-a-half ago or something like that,” Lajovic said.

“I think we’re all waiting for that last-minute decision and it’s never the same when you have the No.1 in your team and you don’t have it – it’s a big difference.

Aussie youngster ready for ATP Cup

“Obviously, when Novak is in the team, the expectations get much higher and everybody’s putting a spotlight on Novak, of course, and trying to push the whole team.

“Right now, maybe we’re on the sideline a little bit and it could be good for us, it could be bad – we’ll see.

“But it’s definitely different and we’ll get to see what happens after the tournament and how it goes.

“He was, I think, hoping the same as we did, that somehow he will be here, but unfortunately he’s not and we’ve got to deal with it.”

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!