The tennis backhand to Djokovic: "It took away the prominence of the rest"

The case of Novak Djokovic is taking all the attention in the run-up to the Australian Open. The world is talking about the Serb, who is detained in Melbourne awaiting a new court hearing (this Sunday) to define his situation, with the expectations of finally being able to play the first Grand Slam of the year and defend the crown -If they allow him to stay in the country, his debut would be against his compatriot Miomir Kecmanović-.

While the number one in the world plays his game in court and tries to get his visa back, which was revoked twice for not being vaccinated, the other tennis players continue with their preparatory training for the Australian Open, although with a lot of discomfort due to what happened with Nole, given that, due to his conflicts with the authorities in the run-up to the tournament, he caused much more to be said about him than about the competition itself.

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Rafa Nadal, in a press conference prior to the Australian Open.

Rafa Nadal, in a press conference prior to the Australian Open.

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“It is very clear that Novak Djokovic is one of the best players in history, without a doubt. But there is no player in history that is more important than an event, right? Players stay and then they leave, and other players come. Nobody, not even Roger (Federer) or Novak (Djokovic) or myself or Bjorn Borg, who was incredible in his time; tennis continues”, shot Rafael Nadal in the last hours.

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The Australian Alex de Miñaur, for his part, did not walk around with laps: “This whole situation has taken away a lot of prominence from the rest of the tennis players. We are here in Australia to be able to play a Grand Slam. Try to compete and win as many matches as possible. What is happening with Djokovic makes the rest of us go into the background“. And he added: “Winning 20 Grand Slams does not make you act one way or another outside.”

The Australian Alex de Minaur was very critical of Djokovic.

The Australian Alex de Minaur was very critical of Djokovic.

Another who made statements along those lines was Stefanos Tsitsipas. “I am not going to lie. In these last weeks, Novak Djokovic has been the center of attention for his actions. It has received a lot of attention and people talk more about it than about tennis. It’s a shame that these things happen a couple of days before the start of a Grand Slam like the Australian Open 2022,” said the Greek, notably upset about the issue.

Tsitsipas is worried that there will be more talk about Nole than tennis.

Tsitsipas is worried that there will be more talk about Nole than tennis.

The Russian Daniil Medvedev, the main candidate for the title if Djokovic does not play and a finalist in the last edition of the Australian Open, also referred to the case and was a little more cautious: “I think if I had an exemption in order I could play the tournament. I am curious to know the details necessary to understand the matter. For me it doesn’t change anything because in the event that he ends up in the draw, I would face him in the final. There is a long way to go before.”

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On the other hand, Alexander Zverev, Djokovic’s partner and friend, was one of the few tennis players who was in favor of his position. “It’s not fair to come here and not be able to play in the tournament”he said first. And he continued: “He had a valid visa. Isn’t that right? I doubt he traveled to try his luck with no guarantees that he was going to play the tournament. He is a star, if it had not been him, all this drama would not have been created.“.

Zverev alongside Novak, at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

Zverev alongside Novak, at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

THE OPINION OF THE FEMALE TABLE

From the women’s draw and the WTA circuit they also alluded to the Nole conflict in Australia. “My thoughts aren’t really important. I think it’s an unfortunate situation. He’s a great player and it’s a bit sad that some people remember him that way. But I also think it’s not up to us, the players, it’s up to the government how Australia handles it,” Japan’s Naomi Osaka said.

For Muguruza, it is as simple as getting vaccinated.

For Muguruza, it is as simple as getting vaccinated.

Finally, the Spanish Garbiñe Muguruza was forceful: “I don’t think it’s that difficult, you have to get vaccinated and that’s all. It’s time to turn the page because it’s getting very long. It’s time to talk about the Grand Slam and that we’re going to be able to play with the public”. Thus, the recent sayings of the world of tennis mean a major setback for Novak Djokovic, since he does not have the support of the majority of his colleagues.

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