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TENNIS

Ivanisevic jabs back at Djokovic ‘anti-vax’ criticism amid US Open debate

In an interview with Slobodna Dalmacija, the coach reacted against those who criticize the Serbian star. “When they say he’s a bad influence, they’re wrong”

Update:
Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic, training at Wimbledon 2019. Pre-pandemic.
HANNAH MCKAYREUTERS

There is little more than a month to go before the start of the US Open, the final Grand Slam tournament of the season, and today the great question surrounding the tournament continues to float in the air: will Novak Djokovic be able to play? It should be remembered that the Serbian tennis player is not vaccinated against the coronavirus and the complete vaccination program remains an essential requirement to enter the United States.

Unvaccinated Djokovic debate over US entry

Goran Ivanisevic, Djokovic’s tennis coach, wanted to comment on this fact in an interview with the Croatian media outlet Slobodna Dalmacija, assuring us that it would be easier for Djokovic to be invited to the Umag 250 tournament rather than play in the US Open.

“I don’t know anything about whether he can go to the US Open, it’s difficult. I am more optimistic that they give him an invitation to win the Umag tournament than that they let him go to the US Open.

“We haven’t been asked to get vaccinated here in Croatia, but since the United States is a closed country for the unvaccinated, he can’t enter for now. I respect and appreciate Djokovic, he has made a decision that will not change.”

Ivanisevic took the opportunity to attack the critics of Djokovic, stating that he is not a leader of the anti-vaccine campaigners and that, despite his own choice, he has never told others not to get vaccinated.

“When there are people who proclaim him as a leader or as someone who exerts a bad influence on people, they are wrong. He doesn’t want to get vaccinated, he doesn’t want to put it in his body, but he has never said that the rest should not get vaccinated. I respect and support his decision”.

The Croatian coach also hopes that the restrictions of the countries will change so that Djokovic can play and regrets that at times they have been put on the ‘wall of shame’.

“I hope that these decisions will be reversed. There were people infected at Australia, Roland Garros and Wimbledon and nothing has happened. There are many contradictions.

“I am vaccinated and have no problems. But during these two and a half years they have terrified us, when you are infected it is as if you had scabies and they kick you and your team out.

“They have put us on the ‘wall of shame’,” says Ivanisevic with regret, as he continues to await news on whether Djokovic will be able to play or not at the US Open.