Due to his unvaccinated status, Novak Djokovic has already missed the Australian Open this year and it looks like he will be missing the US Open next month too. The Serb’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic, says that the star has been put on the “wall of shame” unfairly for his refusal to get vaccinated.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion was deported in January ahead of the Australian Open because of his unvaccinated status. Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa for a second time was due to fears that the star would fire up anti-vaxx sentiments.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) have confirmed that they will abide by the rules of the US government in not allowing unvaccinated individuals to enter America.
This will make Djokovic miss the US Open next month. He is still hoping the government will change its stance.
Ivanisevic, Djokovic’s coach since 2019, says that labeling the Serb as a leading figure for anti-vaccinated people is “wrong”.
In a statement for Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija ahead of the Croatia Open this week, Ivanisevic said, “I don’t know about the US Open [entry], it’s difficult.”
“I am more optimistic that I will get an invitation and win Umag than that they will let him to the US Open.
“They don’t ask for vaccination there, but as a country they are closed to the unvaccinated, for now he can’t enter the country.”
“I respect and appreciate him, he made a decision that he will not change.
“When they proclaim him to be a leader, to have a bad influence on people, that is wrong.”
“He doesn’t want to get vaccinated, he doesn’t want to introduce it into his body, and he never told others not to get vaccinated. I respect and support his decision.”
The coach claims that Djokovic and his team have been “terrorized” by critics because of the star’s controversial stance.
“I hope these decisions are reversed. People infected in Australia, Roland Garros and Wimbledon and nothing to anyone,” Ivanisevic said.
“There are so many contradictions, I was vaccinated, it’s not a problem for me, but… for two and a half years they terrorise us, when you’re infected it’s like you have scabies, they throw you and the team out. We were on the wall of shame.”