Yes-Vax for Novak?
Daniel Muksch, the biographer for Novak Djokovic, said that he has heard from the tennis star’s inner-circle that he plans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“From what I have heard from those around him, I think he is getting vaccinated,” Muksch reportedly said on Austrian TV station Servus TV, via News.com.au.
Djokovic has been a staunch anti-vaccine advocate, culminating in his messy Australian Open drama that ended with him being deported from the country after a lengthy visa battle.
The season’s first Grand Slam was filled with controversy before the event even started after Djokovic was granted an exemption to play, but then was denied entry after flying to Australia. But it is how the men’s tournament ended that ultimately may have changed Djokovic’s mind.
Rafael Nadal’s epic comeback against Daniil Medvedev in the final vaulted the Spaniard past Djokovic and Roger Federer in the race for the most men’s grand slams ever. Nadal now has 21, with his two contemporaries stuck at 20.
“Maybe the final in Melbourne also contributed to (Djokovic’s decision},” Muksch said. “Rafael Nadal’s 21 is driving him, no question.”
Djokovic’s ability to play in the season’s final three slams — French Open, Wimbledon, US Open — is murky given the various and ever-changing COVID restrictions within the countries.
“There has been some outstanding tennis played at this year’s #AusOpen and the finals were exceptional,” Djokovic tweeted after Nadal and Ash Barty won titles in Melbourne.
“Congratulations to @ashbarty for an amazing performance in front of her home crowd and to Danielle Collins for an incredible tournament. Congratulations to @RafaelNadal for 21st GS. Amazing achievement. Always impressive fighting spirit that prevailed another time… (Nadal) gave it his all out there and played with the passion and determination we have come to expect from him. You put up one hell of a fight and I know you will have many more Grand Slam wins in your future.”
Nadal’s chance to pad his lead will come in May at the French Open, where he has won 13 times before on the red clay of Roland Garros. The question now is, will Djokovic be there to try and stop him?