A few weeks ago, Novak Djokovic received clearance to travel to Australia next month. The local government has in fact lifted the three-year ban that weighed on the head of the Serbian, the protagonist of a bad soap opera earlier this year.
In fact, the former world number 1 paid dearly for his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus, having had to give up the Australian Open and the US Open. In addition to having suffered serious damage to his image, the 35-year-old from Belgrade was forced to miss all the American Masters 1000.
Nole needed time to regain confidence and pace, suffering another bitter disappointment at Roland Garros. The ‘Djoker’ gave a positive turn to his season by triumphing at Wimbledon for the fourth time in a row, the seventh ever.
Goran Ivanisevic’s protégé thus hoisted himself to 21 Grand Slams, just one length away from Rafael Nadal’s all-time record. In a long interview with ‘The Age’, Australian legend Paul McNamee spoke about the difficulties Djokovic faced in 2022.
McNamee defends Nole Djokovic
“I’m hoping Novak Djokovic can get it. For me, he’s a person of principle. Not everyone agrees with what his position is, but he stands by his word and missed two Grand Slams this year.
That’s a lot to miss when you’re one off winning the most Grand Slams, so I respect it and I hope he is well received”. McNamee praised the 35-year-old for sticking to his believes and is confident the Serbian will add some glitz and glamour to the 2023 tennis summer Down Under.
“People forget that he set up the COVID vaccination clinics in Serbia, and that his own son’s vaccinated,” he said. “It’s just what he believes for him – but it’s obviously not what mainstream beliefs are, and fair enough.
I’m vaccinated and it’s a personal choice. I was very disappointed with how it went down … that’s the way it goes, isn’t it? But it’s in the past now. I think this is a great Australian Open to be looking forward to, and with the United Cup kicking off the season, I think we’re going to have a big summer.
Novak certainly adds gravy and gravitas to the whole thing”. Showering praise on his charge, Ivanisevic said Djoker fully deserved the win. “I think somebody from up there looking at all of this and saying, ‘Okay, you’re gonna finish the year like this,’ and he deserves it. Nobody knows how it was to be him,” Ivanisevic stated.
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