For the last few months Novaxx Djokovic and the country of Australia have been at a stalemate with either side willing to blink. Djokovic, being an anti-vaxxer, has refused to get the covid-19 vaccine while Australia had mandated all players be vaccinated for the 2022 Aussie Open. With just two weeks to go until the first round kicks off and plenty of players already over there playing in warmup tournaments, the only question remained was Djokovic's status. The ATP Cup (basically the world cup of tennis) has been going on down there for a few days now with Djokovic having pulled out of Team Serbia just before it got going. That led many to believe he wasn't gonna be playing in the big one.
Well, today we found out through his Instagram that Novak has received a "medical exemption" that will grant him the same liberties as a fully vaccinated person in Australia. He's playing. Through his fame and high status in the sport, Novak found his loophole to skate by the rules and enter the tournament. The very same loophole that the country of Australia was told was not going to be accessible for 'privileged tennis players.'
That was less than a month ago. Good to know everything this dude said above was a bold-faced lie. Literally not one word of that clip rung true. This dude is one of the fittest humans in the world and he just got a medical exemption that will essentially allow him to be treated as a fully vaccinated individual over there. Gimme a fucking break.
Let's be real, at the end of the day Novak Djokovic drives ratings and is currently one slam away from passing both Nadal and Federer for the all-time men's record. Having failed at the US Open last year, the Aussie Open now has the opportunity to capitalize on this moment and have Djokovic's historic moment be at their venue. All of the money and eye balls that follow that achievement were too much to pass on it seems.
I'm not gonna make this article into a political debate, although I guess just talking about this will create that, but in terms of Australia this is a tough look that is going to piss a ton of their people off. The Aussie Open and their government completely caved here because of money. Simple as that and everyone knows it. Am I going to sit here and say that I'm shocked? Absolutely not, money runs the world, but I thought they would hang strong based on everything they were saying about the situation and how strict they have been as a country with the pandemic. Australia has a very high percentage of their population vaccinated and has been extremely tight with lockdowns since the pandemic started. This fugazzi exemption he's getting is a virtual slap in the face to everyone who lives there as well as those playing in the tournament. It's all bullshit. People are not happy.
Listen you want to hold the Aussie with only vaccinated players? Bold as shit, but don't have everyone get vaccinated only to let people in with special privileges who don't want to play by the rules. If Novak doesn't want to get vaccinated that's his stupid decision and he's within his right to make that call, but don't tell the rest of the players in the sport they have to get the shots while letting him walk right in. That's the part that pisses me off the most. You won't see someone like unvaccinated American Tennys Sandgren down there playing. This was him and fellow American Tommy Paul commenting back and forth on a post about Djokovic today on Instagram.
Why didn't he get an exemption? Because he's not Novak Djokovic, or NoVaxx JokeCovid if you may.
The boos Novak gets in two weeks are going to be all-time. Louder than maybe anyone has ever been booed before in a sport. The only problem with those boos is he typically eats them up like candy and thrives to spoil the party. He will have achieved all-time villain status when he takes the court. This might make him unstoppable.
We're in for a helluva Aussie Open.