Australian Open shouldn’t go ahead out of respect for struggles Melbourne endured during COVID-19: Nick Kyrgios

Surprisingly, the Aussie tennis star also showed sympathy towards world number 1 Novak Djokovic who has refused to reveal his vaccination status.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 16 November 2021 4:11 pm

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has called for the cancellation of the Australian Open next year out of respect for the struggles of the host city Melbourne which it endured during the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, Melbourne has faced one of the most strict and longest lockdowns ever of over 260 days since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Kyrgios suggested that it was not worth risking another setback to the Australian city and the state of Victoria. Surprisingly, the Aussie tennis star also showed sympathy towards world number 1 Novak Djokovic who has refused to reveal his vaccination status.

"I don't think the Aus Open should go ahead, just for the people in Melbourne — you've got to send a message," Kyrgios said on his podcast, No Boundaries.

"How long did (Melbourne) do in lockdown? 275 days or something?"

Our economy needs major events like Australian Open: Martin Paklula 

However, the Victoria state Sports Minister Martin Pakula wasn't in agreement with the tennis star as he said that the state needed an event like the Australian Open.

"Melburnians, Victorians and, frankly all Australians, are absolutely gagging for major events. Our economy needs it, our state psyche needs it," he told reporters.

It is morally wrong to force someone to be vaccinated: Kyrgios

About Djokovic, Kyrgios said that it is not morally right to force someone to get vaccinated. He was quick to point out the achievements of the 20-time Grand Slam winner and said that he has sacrificed a lot for the sport and it won't be right to say you can't play.

"Kyrie, Novak ... these guys have given so much, sacrificed so much. They are global athletes who millions of people look up to," the current world number 90 said.

"I just think it is so morally wrong to force someone to be vaccinated," he added.

"I'm double-vaccinated, but I just don't think it's right to force anyone (to be vaccinated) and say 'you can't come and play here because you're not vaccinated," he further said.

"There are other solutions around it, (such as) to get tested every day."

While Kyrgios termed Australian Open his favourite Grand Slam, he rated French Open the worst.