With the highly anticipated return of Wimbledon on the 27th June, the questions swinging around the minds of avid tennis fans are who will win this year’s Wimbledon trophy and is Novak Djokavic going to be there?
Wimbledon is the world’s oldest tennis tournament and is widely regarded as the most prestigious, with the royal family attending each year. It’s home to some of the greatest tennis players of all time and attracts thousands of spectators every year. This definitely is not the event to miss out on!
Novak is known to be the world’s top rated mens tennis player. Not only has he won the Australian open 9 times, he’s the only male player to have won all nine of the Masters tournaments and has done so twice.
His long time rival Rafa Nadal, stole the grand slam record at the Australian Open last month. There’s no doubt that Novak will be even more determined to win this year’s trophy. We hope to see Novaak there in June as this could be the duel of a lifetime! Novak will definitely want to regain his spot at the top.
Novak took home the Wimbledon 2021 trophy, which was his sixth Wimbledon title! Will he make it number 7 in 2022?
You got served!
All seemed to be going well for Djokovic after originally being granted medical exemption to enter the Australian open in January, on the grounds that he had recently tested positive for Covid.
Djokovic also had his visa accepted which meant he was able to compete in the tournament.
This exemption was authorized by two independent health panels, Tennis Australia and the other by state government Victoria.
Upon entry to Australia on January 5th, he was held in custody for over 8 hours by border control who subsequently canceled his visa as he did not provide enough evidence to meet Australia’s entry requirements, despite his medical exemption. The country’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, personally canceled the 34-year-old’s visa, on the grounds that his presence could incite “civil unrest” and encourage anti-vaccine sentiment. Novak was deported and couldn’t participate in the Australian open.
Not only was he the firm favourite to win at the Aussie open, Novak also lost his shot at becoming the man with the most grand slam titles. Now that’s what I call a double jab!
Will he take the shot? Novak or NoVAX?
With all of the controversy over the Australian open in January, and losing his chance to become the man with the most Grand Slam titles, will this change his mind on getting the vaccine?
His future as the world’s most top ranked tennis player is definitely now uncertain. Most countries will not allow athletes to compete in competitions without being fully vaccinated and are making a point to not give special treatment to athletes that feel they are above the rules.
The US Open is off the cards in August if he doesn’t change his mind, as non-US citizens must be fully vaccinated to travel to the country, with only limited exceptions. Another major tournament he could miss.
Novak has recently said in an interview with BBC that he would rather miss out on future tennis trophies than be forced to get the vaccine “Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else”. However he is keeping his mind open about getting the vaccine in the future.
Djokovic’s biographer, Daniel Muksch believes that after being influenced by strict vax requirements for pro athletes, he will most likely end up getting the vaccine.
Supporting this claim, Novak has entered into the Indian Wells tennis tournament in California this March, which requires athletes to be fully vaccinated to be able to participate! He is a five-time champion at Indian Wells, so the absence of Novak would be a great one. This would be his second dose of disappointment if he is not allowed to participate.
If he doesn’t change his stance on the vaccine, the only Grand Slam tournament he’ll be able to play at is Roland Garros, as the competition allows unvaccinated players to participate.
Rafa to result?
With the uncertainty of Djokovic’s attendance at Wimbledon 2022, will Rafa Nadal rescue the trophy from Djokovic’s grip?
There’s a very big chance Rafa could bag the Wimbledon trophy this year, especially as Wimbledon officials have not yet assured fans that Djokovic will be able to attend with his current vaccine status.
This is great news for Rafa, as we saw with the absence of Novak in the Aussie open, Rafa made a huge racket when won the competition. Putting him one ahead in terms of most Grand Slam tournament titles won! Rafa won this title for the first time since his only triumph there in 2009.
Rafa Nadal breaks tie with Djokovic and Federer for most Grand Slams in history and is now top of the table with 21 points, leaving Novak & Roger behind with 20 points each. Rafa, Novak and Roger Federer are described as ‘The top three’ men in the tennis world.
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In case you didn’t already know, whenever Djokovic is competing at Wimbledon, he eats the grass. Trying to justify his far from normal actions, he says, “It’s a little tradition obviously,” he said. “As a kid I was dreaming of winning Wimbledon, so, like every child, you dream of doing something crazy when you actually achieve it — if you achieve it — and that was one of the things.” Fair enough!