‘Novak Djokovic has been the best consistently for…’, says former No.1

Hours after Craig Tiley, director of the Australian Open, publicly announced that tennis players who want to play the first Grand Slam of the season must be vaccinated against covid-19, the reactions have not been long in coming. Especially when the tennis players who are in the middle of the fight for the title at the ATP Finals in Turin were asked. As expected from repeated innuendo from him in recent months, Novak Djokovic, a bit fond of vaccines in general, gave a very enigmatic answer as to whether or not he intends to be in Australia: “We’ll see. We will have to wait and see.” In a similar vein, Medvedev stated: “Yes, actually I’m a bit surprised that they confirmed it so late, let’s say. Months have passed. At least he knew that was probably the case. The prime minister or the governor of the state of Melbourne, I don’t know if I don’t remember exactly who said it, but it was official. I was surprised to see this news because I thought, what’s new?” The Russian’s rival in the Masters final, Zverev, was much clearer in giving his opinion on mandatory vaccination: “We are visiting another country. This is not about tennis. This is the virus that is happening, right? No, it is a tournament or tennis. We are visiting a different country. After all, the country is allowing us to enter. We have to follow the rules and follow the guidelines. I hope I can play. At the end of the day, I’m number 3 in the world, so if he doesn’t play (because of Djokovic), it’s easier to win the tournament.”

Roddick on Novak Djokovic

Andy Roddick recently opined that Novak Djokovic has a longer “runway” left to win Major titles compared to his great rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. “Is Novak going to be prepared to play in Australia by avenue of vaccination?” Roddick said. “What I will say confidently is, given the runway and the toll on the bodies [of the Big 3] and what we’ve seen as far as bodies breaking down – Novak seemingly has the longest runway and has been the best consistently for the last five, 10 years even.” The 2003 US Open champion went on to claim that Djokovic would be the favorite for the Australian Open if he plays, given that he got “better” in 2021. “But he (Djokovic) only got better this year,” Roddick continued. “I don’t know if you can say that about Rafa, I certainly don’t think you can say that about Roger, unfortunately at this point in their careers. So, Novak still has to be the favorite [for the Australian Open]. But this new wrinkle where Rafa comes in and there’s, you know, the route to the Aussie Open title – [where Nadal] doesn’t have to go through Novak.”

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