Novak Djokovic, the former world number one has had a tough year as he could not participate in two out of the four Grand Slam events of the year over his ‘unvaccinated‘ status and his firm stance on neither getting the vaccine anytime soon. He was highly criticized for his actions but still, it did not deter his decision without falling prey to societal pressure.
Djokovic stated about knowing about facing severe consequences for his decision and he was ready to face them without regrets. He even revealed being sad about the decision of not being allowed to play but he could not do anything about it as it was the result of his decision. He said “I don’t have any regrets. I mean, I do feel sad that I wasn’t able to play at the US Open but that was a decision that I made, and I knew what the consequences would be. So I accepted them, and that’s it.“
“I am not used to longer breaks but it is what it is” Novak Djokovic’s thoughts on being absent from major tournaments
His unvaccinated status was the main hindrance for him during the hard-court season as he could not even participate in the US Open. With so many challenges over his participation and a long absence from the court, he fell out of the Top 5 of the ATP rankings even after his 7th title win at Wimbledon. He played his first match at the Laver Cup after his triumph at Wimbledon in the doubles match with Matteo Berrettini on the second day of the 3-day event in London.
He also opened up about his long absence from the court and it was something he knew. He added “I’m not used to making, obviously in the last 15 to 20 years, longer breaks between the tournaments, but it is what it is. That’s kind of the situation I was in. I’m just excited to be able to play here now and most of the other indoor tournaments for the rest of the season.“
All the turmoil for Djokovic started with his deportation from Australia failing to comply with the guidelines and mandates and hence could not get a chance to defend his title at the Australian Open. He had a late start to the year but on could not make much success in the clay court season as he got eliminated in the quarter-finals to the eventual winner Rafael Nadal.