Novak Djokovic cleared for Wimbledon… roughly


Novak Djokovic called the All England Club 'insane' for their ban on Russian and Belarusian players.

Novak Djokovic called the All England Club ‘insane’ for their ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
picture: Getty Images

priorities, right? Let’s ban all Russian and Belarusian athletes who are innocent, even as they have spoken out on national television against the soulless Vladimir Putin in Russia’s brutal ongoing war against Ukraine. But will the unvaccinated Novak Djokovic be allowed to compete at Wimbledon without a stab in the arm, a quarantine period or regular testing for the disease that affects 6.22 million people worldwide?

That’s amazingly true, as the All England Club announced on Tuesday that for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, all unvaccinated players will be allowed to play unrestrictedly at Wimbledon. Djokovic was not allowed to play at the first major of the year, the Australian Open, due to lack of vaccination. He is currently eligible at the next major, the French Open.

A win at Roland Garros would join Djokovic with Rafael Nadal for most Grand Slam men’s singles titles in the Open Era, 21, and put him ahead of his rival Roger Federer. Djokovic won the Wimbledon title last year and a repeat triumph this summer would be his seventh championship at tennis’ signature event.

Djokovic, still the reigning No. 1 men’s singles player in the world, has long had a disdain for the vaccine and was sidelined from non-major tournaments in the United States last month because of his vaccine Refusal to get a shove in the arm. The last major Djokovic attended was the 2021 US Open, where he lost in the final to current ATP No. 2 Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev is Russian and will not play at Wimbledon.

All Wimbledon matches are held outdoors and participants are mostly more than two meters apart where the disease is more difficult to spread, but that’s no reason to allow Djokovic to enter the tournament. A lack of star power aside, what good reason could there be to let Djokovic play when coronavirus cases are on the rise around the world? The Serb’s shortcomings of not being able to get a simple vaccine cannot be overlooked. It is clear that the organizers are primarily concerned with lining their pockets.

Both of the admissions decisions made by the All England Club last week are wrong as the event organizers show a complete lack of empathy each time. They are now bowing to a new low for the standard of Wimbledon attendance as rankings are clearly no longer the best determination. Some of the vaccinated players who spoke out against the unnecessary Russian invasion of Ukraine are unable to play due to their specific nationality? Djokovic takes part in the draw as a tournament favorite despite boasting he didn’t take the vaccine? How on earth does that make sense?

Djokovic called the All England Club “crazy” for its ban on Russian and Belarusian players allowed to play the French Open all weeks before. Guess it takes a weirdo to see his definition of someone else. Not taking a widely available vaccine, especially when Djokovic will be interacting with so many without a mask while in London, is beyond inconsiderate and downright irresponsible. The U.S Open organizers have yet to make a decision on both inclusion issues. Let’s hope they don’t screw it up like the All England Club does.

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