Novak Djokovic has been removed from Australia and will not appear at the Australian Open. This is the end of the series with the Serbian tennis player, which lasted nearly two weeks. However, this is not the end of questions about Serbs. What’s next for Djokovic?
Will he be vaccinated?
The ATP Ranking Leader will spend the next few days in the home he has just arrived. Next? As Adam Romer of Tenisklub magazine said on Twitter: “Surprisingly little is said about the fact that Djokovic may face similar problems as the ‘Australian’ when entering other countries. The season will be tough for the Serbs.”
The pandemic is ongoing, and tennis players are among the athletes who travel the world a lot. Will the defenseless Djokovic be able to perform normally in the United States or Europe? Or maybe he decides to take the vaccine? Other countries require or are considering bringing in COVID passports – also for visitors.
It is not known whether the best tennis player in the world will be able to play in Roland Garros – the next Grand Slam tournament after the Australian Open. According to “Der Spiegel”, French Sports Minister Roxanne Marasinho admitted that Djokovic could start at the Paris event without taking coronavirus vaccines.
Conflicting information from France
– Although France imposes stricter restrictions on unvaccinated people, there is no ban on their entry. According to Der Spiegiel, Djokovic will have to adhere to different rules than those who have been vaccinated, but he will still be competitive.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph says the French sports minister is leaning toward a different option – tennis players who want to take part in the Roland Garros tournament will need Covid passports. President Emmanuel Macron has made strong statements recently towards people who do not want to be vaccinated. He declared that it would make their lives difficult. The tournament will be held in Paris from May 22 to June 6.
It is likely that Djokovic will be able to play at Wimbledon (27/06-10/07). As Forbes reported: “Travelers to the UK do not need to be vaccinated against coronavirus if they have received a negative vaccination within two days of arrival. calendar Tested and will be quarantined for 10 days. However, it remains unclear whether Wimbledon will require vaccinations (organizers did not respond to a request for comment on this), but last year players were not required to show proof of vaccination, and tournament officials did not indicate that they would change their vaccinations. Policy. “
Where can Djokovic not play?
Perhaps the biggest problem for Djokovic is playing in the United States. Almost all foreign visitors going to the United States must prove that they have been fully vaccinated. There are exceptions to this rule, but it seems that most of them do not apply to Djokovic. He can claim to have a documented medical contraindication to receiving the vaccine or claim a humanitarian or emergency exemption from the US government, the Washington Post reads.
People from countries with limited availability of vaccines may also be exempt from vaccination requirements, but Djokovic’s home country, Serbia, is not on the list (almost all of them are in Africa). If the unpollinated ranking leader cannot play in the United States, he will miss not only the US Open Grand Prix (August 29 – September 11), but also, among other things, the Masters tournaments in Indian Wells (10-20.03) and in Miami ( 21.03-3.04).
As the Evening Standard reports, Djokovic may also have trouble performing in Rome (May 9-15) at Roland Garros’ prep. – With the current vaccination status, he will not be eligible to compete in Italy, where only vaccination or recovery is eligible to participate in sporting events, concerts or go to restaurants. A negative test is no longer sufficient, we read.
It is not really known what the state of health of Novak Djokovic is. The Serbian claims that he contracted Covid twice: in June 2020 after a series of Adria Tour tournaments, and in December 2021. Only in the first case did he report it on social media, and in the second he was silent. Only during the hearing in Australia did the world learn that Djokovic would test positive for coronavirus on December 16. Why didn’t the ranking leader share this information with the fans? Strange – especially since the positive result was an important argument for him in the controversy over joining the Australian Open.
What is certain is that after the turmoil in Australia, Djokovic was hailed as a martyr in the anti-vaccination movement. “Novak Djokovic is seen, rightly or wrongly, as an advocate for the fight against vaccines,” said Stephen Lloyd, a lawyer who has represented the Australian government. Djokovic initially doubted the vaccinations, then withdrew from them, declaring, however, that he did not know if he would be vaccinated. At the same time, he turned out to be a supporter of other semi-scientific theories (hug trees, the pyramids of the sun in Bosnia or the influence of water on the water through emotions).
crazy two years
The past two years have been pretty crazy for Djokovic’s career: he lost his 2020 US Open eligibility, three consecutive Grand Slam wins in 2021, lost a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and lost the US Open final when he was one step away from that. Grand Slam (winning four titles in one year) and is now being relayed from Australia.
How will exclusion from the Australian Open affect Serbia? After being disqualified in New York, he made a comeback to the courts in great shape, until July of last year he couldn’t be stopped. But then came the disappointments in Japan and the US Open. Djokovic had made a difference on home soil and when he came back he won the Masters title in Paris in style in the fall, but lost in the Champions League semi-finals at the end of the season.
On the other hand, Djokovic is very strong mentally. He has proven more than once that he admires the system: he – the rest of the world. He doesn’t mind the buzz of spectators sitting in the stands. At one point, he explained that when fans shouted “Roger, Roger” during Wimbledon 2019, he tried to hear “Novak, Novak” in it. The Serb, on the other hand, will turn 35 in May, and he has been exposed to three very annoying situations in six months, and this may have a negative impact on him. Returning to a mental state can be very difficult for him. It will turn out that deportation itself is not a problem – the Australian media wonders.
No more Grand Slam chances
It would be a great disservice to tennis, because you may not like Novak Djokovic, his opinions are ridiculous and even dangerous, but he is a great athlete. One of the greatest tennis players in history, alongside Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg. Tennis fans should keep their fingers crossed for Novak, because even if the time for the younger players (Danio Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev) is slowly approaching, it is a pleasure to watch them jostle with the older champions.
One thing seems almost certain: Novak Djokovic had the last chance of his career to win the Grand Slam the previous season. In order to win four Grand Slam tournaments in one year, he must first play in all of them. With his deportation, he has been banned from entering Australia for three years, the country’s home minister confirmed Monday morning Australian time.
Will Djokovic, nine-time Melbourne champion, return to the Australian Open at the age of 37? Doubtful. And if the government lifts this ban – it can do so on the basis of the country’s interests – will the Serbs even want to come to the country that shuts the door on him at all?
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