After a few quiet months, Novak Djokovic was once again in the eye of the storm. The former world No. 1 is waiting to be told whether or not he can fly to the United States to compete in the US Open. Since the Serbian phenomenon would not be vaccinated against the corona virus, he would be barred from entering the country.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion has already paid dearly for his choice after failing to defend the title at the Australian Open earlier this year. For the same reason, the 35-year-old from Belgrade also had to do without the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami in the spring.
After the disappointment at Roland Garros, Nole redeemed himself at Wimbledon by triumphing for the seventh time and equaling his idol Pete Sampras. The “Djoker” has also narrowed the gap separating him from Rafael Nadal in the all-time Grand Slam standings.
In a press conference during the championship, Goran Ivanisevic’s protégé ruled out the possibility of playing smaller tournaments to chase points. In an interview with ‘Tennis365’, former British number 1 Jo Durie sided with Djokovic.
Durie opens Djokovic
“What a mess earlier this year in Australia. Bad communication and it was really tough for Novak Djokovic,” said Durie. “Now we have the US Open and he can’t go there.
He has withdrawn from the Canadian (Open) because he is not vaccinated. He’s so strong mentally with the things he wants to do but it’s looking difficult at the moment. It’s unfortunate. Those are the rules in America right now.
Most countries have now opened up, but who should I say (if they can play)? It’s a real shame that he can’t play at the moment because of course he would be the favourite.” Novak Djokovic, one of the Big 3 of this generation, has found great success on the pitch.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion is second only to Rafael Nadal in the list of most Grand Slam titles. Recently, the world champion has received a lot of backlash for his anti-Covid-19 vaccination stance. Djokovic may be preparing “as if he gets to play at the US Open”, but his coach Goran Ivanisevic says he has “zero hope” that the 21-time Grand Slam winner will play at Flushing Meadows.
“For me it’s all nonsense and nonsense: Anyone who has been vaccinated but is positive can enter the USA. If you are unvaccinated but negative, you will be banned. There is too much politics in sport.”