Stefanos Tsitsipas the latest tennis star to slam Novak Djokovic ahead of Australian Open

Novak Djokovic ‘played by his own rules’ and therefore jeopardized his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title by failing to meet Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements, according to Greek world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas .

Djokovic was included in the Australian Open draw on Thursday, although there is uncertainty over his participation with Immigration Minister Alex Hawke yet to announce whether he will use his power to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

The 34-year-old, a vaccine skeptic, fueled widespread anger in Australia when he announced he was traveling to Melbourne with a medical exemption from requirements for visitors to be fully vaccinated against the virus. COVID-19.

The Australian Border Force said his exemption was not valid and he was held in a migrant detention hotel, but a court later allowed him to stay on the grounds that those responsible had been ‘unreasonable’ during his interview in a seven-hour process.

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Novak Djokovic trains at the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

Tsitsipas, who himself was hesitant to get a COVID shot in 2021, got vaccinated and criticized Djokovic for the actions he took in an interview with Indian news channel WION.

“No one really thought he could come to Australia without being vaccinated and having to follow the protocols…it takes a lot of guts to do that and put the Grand Slam at risk, which I don’t think a lot of players would do.”

The ATP, which governs men’s tennis, said earlier that 97 of the top 100 male players were vaccinated.

US world number 93 Tennys Sandgren told reporters earlier this month that he withdrew from the Australian Open due to the vaccination mandate and chose not to seek a bye medical.

When asked if Djokovic should defend his title at Melbourne Park, Tsitsipas replied: “There are two ways of looking at it. On the one hand, almost all the players are fully vaccinated… and have followed the protocols for playing in Australia.”

“I chose to go there and be 100% ready for whatever was to come and not have to think about anything else.

“For me it worked one way, for Novak it worked another way. It doesn’t really mean my path is right and his is wrong, it’s just each person’s perception of it.

However, Tsitsipas wondered why some players, including Djokovic, were allowed to skip the vaccine and travel to Australia.

“Statistics indicate that 98% of players have been vaccinated and have done what they had to do to come and play and play in Australia,” Tsitsipas said.

“[But] not everyone follows the rules the way Tennis Australia and the government have set things up.

ABC/Reuters

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