Novak Djokovic has played just three games in this first part of the season. The choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus upset the plans of the Serbian, who was unable to defend the title at the Australian Open.
The number 1 in the world was expelled from the country after a soap opera that lasted for almost two weeks, as well as suffering serious damage to his image. The Serbian phenomenon played in the ATP 500 in Dubai, but failed to make it past the quarter-finals.
Strict US regulations forced him to miss the Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000s as well. Barring further twists and turns, Nole will be back in action on the red clay of Monte Carlo. As France has decided to abolish the vaccination pass, the 20-time Grand Slam champion should have no problem attending Roland Garros in May.
If Daniil Medvedev were to reach the semifinal in Miami, he would again snatch the top position of the ATP ranking from Djokovic. In a long interview with the Spanish magazine 'Jot Down', Alex Corretja defended Novak from the criticisms that have rained on him in recent times.
Alex Corretja talks about Djokovic
“I think today, with everything that has happened to Novak Djokovic in recent years – the US Open 2020, the final he lost last year, this year in Australia… – he is stronger than ever.
I admire him deeply because he says what he feels. He doesn't say the right things to get people to love him and that's to his credit. Then you can more or less agree with his way of thinking, but you can't criticize how consistent he is with his principles.
He respects the fact that I got vaccinated, but for some reason he decided not to. I don't know, I'm a big fan of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer. Not just Nadal and Federer. Djokovic is much smarter than people think. In fact, there is one thing about Djokovic that is very Martian and which, in my opinion, will not be exceeded for a very, very long time: more than 361 weeks (362 now, editor's note) as world number one.
And this record went completely unnoticed. And that's unfair. Because if this record were held by Nadal or Federer, it would be permanently highlighted as something inaccessible, unbeatable. Djokovic is not considered to his fair value because he generates a lot of controversy and because there are many people who do not agree with his way of life.
It should be independent. If you want to value his sporting work, you have to value his sporting successes. It would be another thing if we did a poll to find out who you like the most or who forwards to you the most" - Alex Corretja stated.