Novak Djokovic was hoping for a much better start to 2022. The Serbian champion was unable to defend the title at the Australian Open due to the well-known events, as well as having suffered serious damage to his image. After a soap opera that lasted almost two weeks, the 34-year-old from Belgrade had to leave Australia amid a thousand controversies.
As if that weren't enough, Nole watched helplessly as his eternal rival Rafael Nadal triumphed at Melbourne Park. The Spaniard has thus overtaken Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time Grand Slam standings. 'Djoker' made his season debut in Dubai but failed to make it past the quarter-finals.
His premature departure from the United Arab Emirates cost him the first place in the ATP ranking in favor of Daniil Medvedev, who became the 27th number 1 in the history of men's tennis. Novak is still on the Indian Wells board, hoping to get an exemption from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
In a recent interview with 'Kurir Sport', Ion Tiriac pulled the ears of the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
Ion Tiriac slams Novak Djokovic
"Novak Djokovic is looking for his place and he can't find it," Tiriac said.
"He is like Becker, like a child who plays with fire and puts his hand up to see if it burns or not. Djokovic is a great athlete, a very good tennis player, but to be a great champion, it's Nadal! In my opinion, Nadal is, not in tennis, but in sports, a genius who stayed with both feet on the ground, who behaves the same as when he was 15."
Tiriac also criticized Djokovic's vaccine stance in an interview with a TV show "Friends of Ovid," as quoted by first sportz. “You don’t want what? You don’t want what 99 percent of people want and that’s why you’ll be in the 1 percent who aren’t allowed to move.
You messed up everything from A to Z,” Tiriac said. Earlier today, the men’s singles draw for the first ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the season in Indian Wells was released. Amid suspense over his participation, Novak Djokovic is included in the draw.
He is the second seed in the tournament. Additionally, Djokovic’s inclusion in the draw didn’t go down well with a fan, saying, “As many have mentioned, Novak Djokovic pretends to be some “champion” for lower-ranked players and fights for their interests, yet refuses to withdraw and therefore impacts main draw entry lists and qualifying draws. His only interest is his own”.