Novak Djokovic has often been in the eye of the storm at the start of 2022. Due to his choice not to get vaccinated, the world number 1 has been able to play very little so far. In addition to failing to defend the title at the Australian Open, the Serbian champion also suffered serious damage to his image.
His seasonal debut took place in Dubai, but his race was already interrupted in the quarters by the hand of the revived Jiri Vesely. Strict US regulations forced Nole to skip the Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000s as well.
Contrary to expectations, the 34-year-old from Belgrade withdrew from the Californian tournament after the draw for the draw. A choice that has made many in the world turn up their noses. If there are no further changes, ‘Djoker’ will be back in action in Monte Carlo next month.
With France abolishing the Green Pass a few days ago, the 20-time Grand Slam champion should have no problem playing Roland Garros in May. Speaking to the Tennis Channel, Paul Annacone analyzed Novak’s complicated situation.
Annacone opens up on Djokovic
“[Novak Djokovic’s late withdrawal] sure affects everybody. I understand his desire to play. Look, we all want to see him play, all the tennis fans around the world do. But the challenging part is, when do you pull out?” Annacone said.
“He absolutely has the right to hang in there and hope that those regulations change and see what he can find out from the folks that are on his team.” The American said the 20-time Grand Slam champion should have pulled out before the draw was made on Tuesday, even if he hadn’t received confirmation from the CDC before then.
“But really, Tuesday afternoon is when they make the draw. So if he didn’t know by then, he should have pulled out,” Annacone said. “Then we wouldn’t have had anyone potentially miss out because that first person who had to play qualifying would have gotten directly into the main draw.”
Recently, Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas reflected on being compared to the three greats. He did accept that when the big three were his age, they were winning Grand Slams and the big titles regularly. However, he did state he was only looking at being the best amongst players in his generation.
Speaking on this subject, the Greek stated, “I am not thinking about this right now, to be honest with you. I’m trying to compete against my generation more than against them. Also simply because Rafa was one of the few of them that participated in the last tournaments.
That you don’t know, it won’t last that long. I’m trying to be the best of my generation as much as I can, not concentrate too much on what’s happening with the elder guys”.