The Australian Open might have been the beginning of Novak Djokovic's debacle, but it doesn't look like it will be the last. He's had his say so and his choice respected but not without some flareups including being deported back to his homeland and being banned from Australia for possibly three years.
There was a wonder about his sponsorship too and now things have shifted a bit with one. "No, we will not continue with the sponsorship of Djokovic," the CEO of the Stellantis Group for Peugeot Cars, Carlos Tavares commented to El Espanol media.
At the start of Novak Djokovic's situation on playing in the Australian Open unvaccinated, sponsors including Peugeot weren't concerned. Things have changed and it appears that neither the Australian Open or Peugeot will be the end-all of Djokovic's quest to keep his sponsors and his no vaccine status honored.
The Serb didn't only have those two situations at his back but losing his no. 1 spot to Russia's Daniil Medvedev was another thorn in his side. The new no. 1 got there by making the Mexican Open semifinals. But it's yet to be seen how long he will be able to play due to Russia's actions against the Ukraine.
The ITF's (International Tennis Federation) is possibly thinking of suspending Russian and Belarus players from tournaments. Novak Djokovic is commited to having his decision but admits he may not be able to play some Grand Slams who will only honor vaccinated players.
He is also uncertain of his participation with the upcoming Indian Wells and Miami events this month because of his status and their mandatory stipulations. "I understand the consequences of my decision...That is the price that I'm willing to pay," the Serb has explained.
He continues on deeply commenting to the npr.org media that "Because the principles of decision-making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I'm trying to be in tune with my body..." But that was at the beginning of the circumstances.
Will 'The Joker' as he so long ago was nicknamed willfully be able to deal with the consequences? If and when all the tournaments require vaccinated players, where will that leave him? The price he pays may not only be a few events he'll be barred from participation.
As for the other sponsors, it's a waiting game as to what they will decide to do in response to Djokovic's strong will at staying unvaccinated. They clearly won't see their reputation tarnished over one player's freedom of speech and resilient actions at such a universal situation.