Djokovic claims he ‘removed his masks’ in ominous dig at Aus Open saga
Novak Djokovic has claimed that his Australian Open visa ordeal showed the true colors of some people in the “tennis ecosystem”. The world number 7 was deported from Australia earlier this year after having his visa canceled twice and since then he has been unable to compete in tournaments in North America due to being unvaccinated.
Djokovic has lived through a season like no other this year as his unvaccinated condition has prevented him from competing at the Australian Open, US Open and Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells, Miami, Canada and Cincinnati. The 35-year-old made headlines at the start of the season during his Down Under saga, in which Djokovic had his visa canceled twice before being expelled from the country.
With the world number 7’s visa woes on the world stage, he has now called out some of his rivals by claiming they “removed their masks” during his ordeal as he spoke about the way he was treated in the wake of the scandal. . While Djokovic now waits to find out if he can return for the 2023 Australian Open after receiving an automatic three-year ban when he was deported, he said he had learned some lessons from the experience.
“I know that everything that has happened to me this year, especially with Australia and everything that came after, and dealing with me that I didn’t like and had never experienced before, taught me some important life lessons,” he told Sportal. And Djokovic had an ominous message for those who showed him his true colours.
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He continued: “It shows me what kind of world I live in, especially in this tennis ecosystem. I’ve had a lot of masks fall off, so to speak, and it’s very interesting for me to see how someone treated me this year.”
Looking back at the bans he faced from entering Australia and the United States, the 90-time title winner admitted he still has no regrets about his decision not to get vaccinated, although he hoped to return to both countries next season. “I don’t want to go into details, but I hope things get back to normal in Australia and the United States and he can play there again,” he said.
And Djokovic did not want to criticize those who had treated him differently for his stance on the vaccine, adding: “I respect that everyone has a different way of thinking about my situation and the circumstances. Finally, I have never insulted anyone or tried to be disrespectful in any way. I have always tried to show that it is important that everyone has the right and freedom of choice. From the decisions I made, I knew there would be certain consequences.”
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While the 35-year-old missed out on two of the four Majors this year, he won Wimbledon and three other titles, and was happy with the season he had been able to put together. “I won in Rome and I played pretty well at Roland Garros,” Djokovic said.
“After that, I won Wimbledon, then two more tournaments, so I continued my winning streak.” And the Serb will look to maintain his 16-match winning streak at next week’s Paris Masters, where he is the defending champion. He will then play in the ATP Finals before his unusual season comes to an end.
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