Novak Djokovic last played for eight months between Wimbledon and the US Open
Top seed Novak Djokovic will need to be vaccinated if he decides to return to competitive tennis next month, says Serbia’s health minister.
Djokovic has not played since Wimbledon in July after elbow surgery.
“It would be very dangerous if Djokovic takes part in the Australian Open,” said Health Minister Aleksandar Vulin.
“Fever is well known to be caused by the cytokine agent interleukin-1 beta, which is produced by the infection.”
Asked if such a case would preclude the 31-year-old Serb from playing, Vulin added: “Absolutely.”
Djokovic’s elbow surgery came less than a year after the elbow issue sidelined him for two months last year.
The world number two had returned to the form that won 12 Grand Slams, beating Andy Murray to win the Australian Open title in January.
But his hopes of a third title in Melbourne were dashed by a shock third-round defeat to Sam Querrey, who knocked out Roger Federer in the same round.
Djokovic announced his decision to retire on social media following the defeat, saying his “medicine is working”.
He then underwent surgery.