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US Open: US legend behind Djokovic

US Open: US legend behind Djokovic

“I would have had a vaccine to play here, but Djokovic has very strong principles and you have to respect that,” said the four-time US Open winner, who serves as a commentator. At this point in the pandemic, which we’ve been in now for two and a half years, we know more about it around the world. “The idea that he can’t travel here to play is a joke to me.”

Even at the Australian Open, the farce of arrival and departure, including missed court proceedings, made headlines off the sporting pages. Djokovic came thinking he could play in Melbourne, but then had to leave the continent without a vaccination after staying at the Relay Hotel for several days.

So far, the Serb still seems to hope for an exemption or even a change in the law until the last minute, he was recently removed from the entry list in Montreal and Cincinnati at the last possible moment.

REUTERS/Danny Molochuk

Four-time US Open winner, 63-year-old McEnroe campaigning to start Djokovic

Vaccination is not “Joker” possible

Rafael Nadal, who won his 21st major title then in Melbourne, was also a benefactor of the Australian Open. This would have been possible as well for Djokovic, but of course it affects the fight best of all in Grand Slams – like long-term injuries.

In contrast, the decision not to vaccinate is also a voluntary action. Djokovic has repeatedly stressed this year that he would rather miss the big ones than get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Of course Rafael Nadal took advantage of that. “If a player wins the Australian Open nine times, you think he missed an opportunity,” McEnroe said, referring to Djokovic. The Serbian then won his 21st Wimbledon title, while Nadal had to retire before the semi-finals due to injury en route to 23rd place. In Paris, he had previously won 22nd place.

A petition from Djokovic fans

Discussions about the effectiveness of vaccinations against the relatively harmless variants of Covid 19 have currently been among Djokovic’s fans for several months. Of course, even a petition containing more than 50,000 signatures for Djokovic cannot change the legal status in the United States.

Meanwhile, the great absentee from the “Big Three” has resumed training at least these days, as he posted on social media: Roger Federer, now 41, wants to return after a full year of injury. It is doubtful whether the 20-time main winner can still play a role in the four tournaments.

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