World number 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas has thrown his weight on Novak Djokovic’s seemingly never-ending visa saga, saying the current champion made his dungeon “look like fools” by choosing not to receive a jab.
Djokovic’s status in the Australian Open is still up in the air despite his inclusion in the men’s draw on Thursday afternoon as the top seed.
Tsitsipas, who lost to Djokovic in the Roland Garros final last year, added that apparently “not everyone sticks to the rules”.
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“Statistics say 98 per cent of players have been vaccinated and done what they had to do in order to come and play in Australia,” he told India’s WIO News.
“One aspect of it is, yes, we have all followed protocols in order to compete in Australia, we have been very disciplined in that part.
“On the flip side, I would say it kind of seems like not everyone is playing by the rules of the way tennis Australia and the government put things in.
“A very small group chose to go their own way and that makes the majority look like they’re all idiots or something.”
Tsitsipas admitted that Djokovic’s actions against the tide required “a lot of boldness”.
“He was certainly playing by his own rules and was doing something that not many players had the courage to do, especially after the ATP announced certain criteria for players to enter the country,” he said.
“No one really thought I could come to Australia without getting vaccinated and not have to follow the protocols they gave me, which takes a lot of guts to do, and puts a Grand Slam at risk. I don’t think many players can do that.
“I chose to go and be 100 per cent ready for whatever was coming and not have to think about anything else.
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“For me, it worked one way, for Novak, it worked another. It doesn’t really mean my way is the right way and his way is the wrong way, it’s just everyone’s perception of it.”
Tsitsipas’ campaign for the Australian Open will begin next week with a first-round clash against 82nd Swedish world Mikael Ymir.
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