Novak Djokovic has ended up in the eye of the storm several times this year, especially thanks to his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. The former ATP number 1 missed the Australian Open and the US Open, as well as sustaining serious damage to his image.
His expulsion from Australia in early 2022 caused the whole world to talk and Nole needed time to recover. For the same reason, the Serbian phenomenon also had to give up all the American Masters 1000 (Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal and Cincinnati).
The 35-year-old from Belgrade didn’t go beyond the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, before triumphing at Wimbledon for the seventh time in his career. Goran’s protege Ivanisevic has thus equaled his idol Pete Sampras and shortened the gap that separates him from Rafael Nadal in the all-time Grand Slam ranking.
Although he has often been attacked by the media, the ‘Djoker’ is known to be one of the most selfless players on the circuit. Host of the podcast hosted by Craig Shapiro, Petar Popovic spent nice words for Djokovic.
Popovic praises Djokovic
“I know them very well because we are a small country and we have traveled together and I have known Novak Djokovic since he was very young. The first thing that I’ll say about Novak is that for me, he is the best tennis player regarding helping others.
He’s amazing. He was fighting for players who are ranked 100-150, which he didn’t need to do,” he said. “He also has a national center here and he’s giving free practice to the best of Serbians and Croatians.
He’s really a giving person and I’m not saying it because he’s Serbian, I’m stating facts,” he added. At the same time, the 40-year-old made it clear that he didn’t agree with his compatriot on his stance on COVID-19 vaccination.
“The thing about vaccination is that I’m not sharing his point of view. I was the first one to get vaccinated. So I have 180° different point of view about that,” he stated. As a result of his vaccination history, Djokovic missed out on a lot of opportunities this year.
Not to forget, he was also banned from participating in the US Open. Following his opening-round victory in Nur-Sultan, Djokovic addressed the media and said, “I’m still waiting for the news for my ban to be removed (I have travel ban for 3 years I think) due to the circumstances earlier this year. Once that’s removed I have to apply for a visa. I wish to go and I wish to play there”.