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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

‘It was really tough on Novak Djokovic’, says former star

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After a few quiet months, Novak Djokovic was once again in the eye of the storm. The former world number 1 is waiting to know if he will be able to fly to the United States or not to compete in the US Open. Not being vaccinated against Coronavirus, the Serbian phenomenon would be barred from entering the country.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion has already paid dearly for his choice, not having been able to defend the title at the Australian Open at the beginning of the year. For the same reason, the 35-year-old from Belgrade also had to miss the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami in the spring.

After the disappointment suffered 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 that separates him from Rafael Nadal in the all-time Grand Slam standings.

In a press conference during the Championships, Goran Ivanisevic’s protege ruled out the possibility of playing minor tournaments to hunt for points. In an interview with ‘Tennis365’, former British number 1 Jo Durie sided with Djokovic.

Durie opens up on Djokovic

“What a mess at the beginning of the year in Australia. Bad communication and it was really tough on Novak Djokovic,” reflected Durie. “Now we have the US Open and he can’t go to that.

He has pulled out of the Canadian (Open) because he is not vaccinated. He is so strong mentally with the things he wants to do, but it looks tough at the moment. It’s unfortunate. That’s the rules in America at the moment.

Most countries have opened up now, but who am I to say (whether he should be allowed to play)? It’s a real shame that he can’t go and play at the moment because obviously he would be the favourite”. Novak Djokovic, one of the Big 3 of this generation, has achieved great success on the court.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion stands only second to Rafael Nadal in the list of most Grand Slam titles. Of late, the champion player has received a lot of backlash for his stand against covid-19 vaccination. Djokovic may be “preparing as if he will be allowed to compete” 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 is all nonsense and bull****: if you are vaccinated but positive you can enter the United States. If you are not vaccinated but negative, you are banned. There is too much politics in sports”.

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