The 2022 season has been the only time Novak Djokovic did not feature in two grand slams. He had debuted at the majors in 2005 and had not missed more than one major in a single season. It was not injuries that stopped him but his principles that led to him not being allowed to play. Djokovic said no. The vaccination led him to miss the Australian Open and the US Open.
The Serbian was initially allowed to play at the 2022 Australian Open but was deported back to Serbia. Djokovic was the defending champion, but the vaccination policy completely overshadowed his title defense. He said about the incident, “I felt like I was a villain of the world, I just wanted to compete and I wanted to play tennis because that’s what I do best.” Djokovic was deemed a threat to the public.
Newly crowned Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic reflects on how Aussie govt made him feel like a villain in 2022 and the BBC reporter who couldn’t understand why he would give it all up.
Guess who ended up with a title and no vax induced myocarditis and VAids??? pic.twitter.com/mO0RdAUnh7
— aussie17 (@_aussie17) September 13, 2023
Djokovic opened up in the podcast with John McEnroe about how he felt during those times. The 36-year-old also said he was pro-free about choosing whether to get vaccinated. Djokovic also spoke about forefitting titles because his body came first and then his career later. Now, a year later, The world No.1 has won both the majors he was not allowed to play earlier and has moved on from the past.
Novak Djokovic back to national duty after US Open win
After winning his 24th grand slam title, Djokovic is back on the court for the Davis Cup. He was seen a few hours before at the Old Palace in Belgrade, giving an emotional speech to his supporters. Djokovic is now at Valencia as Serbia will take on Spain in their second group-stage match. Serbia had earlier beaten Korea and will face the Czech Republic in their final group-stage match.
Djokovic had the chance to play against Carlos Alcaraz, but the 20-year-old had to withdraw from the event. Spain had beaten Serbia 3-0 in last year’s battle and now looks for a ninth win against Serbia at the event. Djokovic is the most successful player from Serbian in the Davis Cup and looks to complete 40 wins. He made his debut in 2004 and last played the event in 2021.
Djokovic back at training less than 72 hours after the US Open final Vs Medvedev 🇷🇸pic.twitter.com/EwCCDhSsAM
— Olly 🎾🇬🇧 (@Olly_Tennis_) September 13, 2023
Djokovic had taken a break for a month from the tour after Wimbledon. He has been playing since beating Alcaraz at the Cincinnati Masters last month. Serbia is the favorite to win against Spain, and with Djokovic’s inclusion, the team looks stronger than ever. The matches will start from 15th September as Serbia’s spirit will once again carried by Djokovic on the court.