Novak Djokovic was unable to defend his title at the Australian Open due to the well-known events, as well as suffering serious damage to his image. The number 1 in the world was expelled from the country on the eve of the start of the Happy Slam, after the three judges of the Federal Court confirmed the visa revocation order.
As if that weren't enough, the Serbian champion had to watch helplessly as his eternal rival Rafael Nadal won at Melbourne Park. Thanks to this triumph, the Spaniard overtook Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to reach 21 Majors.
The choice not to get vaccinated could compromise Nole's entire season, given the recent news from the United States and France. The 34-year-old from Belgrade will return to action in Dubai next week, a tournament he has won five times.
In addition to Djokovic, there will also be Jannik Sinner, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov in the Arab Emirates. In a recent interview with The National News, Dubai ATP director Salah Tahlak spoke extensively about Novak.
"The best thing to do is to think about the future with optimism" - began Tahlak. "I think it's great to have Novak Djokovic back here in Dubai. I know the whole world is against him now, but we're talking about the ATP number one and a former tournament champion.
What if his vaccination status is a problem? Absolutely not. We follow closely the protocols dictated by the authorities. The government does not require mandatory vaccination to enter the country. If he undergoes the PCR test and it turns out negative, he may very well enter the UAE.
We have PCR tests available at the airport, at the tournament venue and in the official hotel," he added. In a long interview with the Tennis365 portal, Richard Krajicek analyzed the Djokovic case: "What happened in Australia was hard for Nole to digest, it will be interesting to see what happens in Dubai.
None of us can know how he will react."
Novak Djokovic: "I won't get vaccinated"
Novak Djokovic has finally come out of the closet. And he even said he was willing to give up tennis, and everything he has accumulated over the course of his career, rather than get vaccinated.
The Serbian tennis player, forced to abandon the Australian throne in surreal circumstances, confessed this in the course of a long interview released exclusively to the BBC. Is it possible to renounce Roland Garros and Wimbledon then? "Yes, this is the price I am willing to pay," he explained forcefully.
The twenty-time Grand Slam champion then reiterated his thesis. "I have never been against vaccinations in my life, but I have always advocated the freedom to choose what to put in your body and what not. The principles of decision making about my person and especially my body are more important than any title or other in the world of tennis.
I'm trying to be in tune with my body as much as possible. The crack? "I understand that globally everyone is trying to make a great effort to manage this virus and hopefully see an end to this virus soon." On the plate, of course, also speculations.
Djokovic was accused of manipulating the tests in order to obtain a medical exemption. Necessary for those without vaccine in the state of Victoria. "I do not like. I don't like it being thought that he did something to get a positive test and eventually go to Australia.
I was sad and disappointed with the way it all ended for me in Australia. It wasn't easy. The visa declaration error was not made deliberately. The reason I was expelled from Australia is because the Immigration Minister used his discretion to cancel my visa based on his perception that I could create anti-vax sentiment in the country or city, which is what I disagree," he said.