In a long interview granted to Wide World of Sports, Novak Djokovic recalled the unpleasant story that saw him protagonist in Australia last year. Nole said: "I ended up in the center of a media storm and the whole world identified me as the symbol of the No-Vax movement.
Suddenly I became the villain of the world, a truly horrible position. The media created a narrative about me which hurt my image a lot.After that I stayed at home for several weeks, I didn't go out much. I was just hoping the situation would calm down, but the signs were still evident.
The aftermath of that story accompanied me for several months and also influenced my tennis. It was not easy for me to reset everything and start over. During every press conference, I was asked a lot of questions about Australia, while I just wanted to move on.
The truth is that the press has presented the facts completely wrong. Many people have the wrong idea of what happened. I arrived in Australia with all the necessary documents, having received an exemption from a group of doctors.
I don't know why, once I set foot in Australia, things spiraled out of control. I wanted to stay to play tennis, but at one point it got so stressful that I just wanted to go home."
Novak Djokovic is the favorite at the Australian Open
Novak Djokovic received authorization to travel to Australia this year, the ban weighing on his head having been revoked due to the bad soap opera that took place in 2022.
The Serbian phenomenon was unable to participate in the last edition of the Australian Open due to of his vaccination status, which caused him several problems also in the continuation of the season. In fact, the former world number 1 had to miss the US Open and all the American Masters 1000, as well as having suffered serious damage to his image.
The 35-year-old from Belgrade started the new year well by winning the ATP in Adelaide, after canceling a match point from young American Sebastian Korda in the final. Nole will do everything possible to win his tenth title at the Australian Open, which would allow him to match his eternal rival Rafael Nadal at 22 Grand Slams. Djokovic, who hasn't lost in Australia since 2018, will start under the odds.