With Djokovic’s Status in Limbo, So Is the Australian Open

In McNamee’s view, “if Novak was going to be kicked out, the time to do it was before the draw.”

Grand Slam attracts actually have been revised earlier than. Andy Murray, initially seeded second at the 2017 U.S. Open, withdrew with a hip harm after the draw had been accomplished.

But no person in 2017 was questioning Murray’s proper to compete. Djokovic is in a extra delicate place, in half as a result of a few of his friends reluctantly agreed to be vaccinated, to respect the Australian Open mandate that no participant can be allowed to compete with out the inoculation or with out clearing the excessive bar for a medical exemption.

Marton Fucsovics, Hungary’s high males’s participant, was the first distinguished singles participant to talk out, sustaining that Djokovic shouldn’t be in Melbourne and that “there are rules that were outlined months ago.”

Stine, the coach, mentioned another gamers had been in settlement.

“I think there’s a fair amount of that sentiment, although people are unwilling or afraid to be too controversial and say it,” Stine mentioned. “You have people on the other side of the coin who are obviously on his side. I certainly don’t know, none of us completely, totally know, but my personal feeling is that he usurped the process in order to get here.”

Stine mentioned there was additionally concern that Tennis Australia and Craig Tiley, its chief govt, had gone too far in their assist of Djokovic, regardless that his utility for a vaccination exemption was assessed by an unbiased medical board.

“Obviously Tennis Australia and Craig Tiley, they want Djokovic here competing, it’s good for their event,” Stine mentioned. “I think Craig has gone out of his way to try and help Novak in every way he possibly can to make sure he gets into the country, and in the end it then looks like he’s receiving special treatment. And I don’t like that in our sport no matter what. Nobody should be receiving special treatment. That’s what sport is about.”

The actuality is that the tennis elite, like many different superstars in sports activities, do obtain particular therapy: preferential scheduling, entry to the predominant courts and different creature comforts. Tiley, desperate to bolster the Australian Open, has spoken overtly about the must maintain the stars content material. But he was not talking overtly on Thursday, declining a request to reply questions from the media after the males’s draw was full.

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