Freeman Cebu Sports


WRECKORDER - FGS Gujilde - The Freeman

Now that he is allowed to stay in Australia after a controversial visa standoff, Novak Djokovic should also be allowed to play at the first slam of the year down under. I want him to win his tenth title in the tournament.

If he wins the surface he is most successful at, he collects his 21st major, the most by any man. By then Novak runs away from exclusive 20 he occupies with the kings of grass and clay, a royalty that does not deserve his company. Djokovic could retire the greatest, but not finest.

Unlike Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who belong to a league of their own. Although they have starkly contrasting styles of play, the Swiss Maestro plays it smooth and easy while the Mallorcan rages like a bull, both are true gentlemen on and off court, obedient to rules, especially unwritten code of chivalry.

Unlike Djokovic. He was disqualified at the US Open for negligently hitting the ball backwards during changeover that landed on the throat of the line woman. He did it many times before without hitting anyone, but did it some more after hitting someone. He should know even his weakest swing stings, he is not world number one for nothing. 

He tested positive for the crowned virus in December but went out. Twice. First when his image was stamped to immortality and second in the company of youngsters. Unmasked. And unvaccinated. I don’t know exactly how the Serbian government treats his choice, but I am sure he is treated like a king in his country of origin. I am sure too the Australian Open does not allow unvaccinated players, top seed or unseeded, unless organizers exempt. And he was, must be due to his superstar status and viewership influence. The color of money outshines many.

We thought the story is over after the court reinstated his visa. But now he risks deportation after stating in his visa form he did not travel in the last two weeks. But he did. Twice. He repeats indiscretions because he gets away unscathed. An entitled super citizen of the world, just like other celebrities deluded by fame and fortune to have licensed them to bend rules.

   If he stays and plays, the Australians have better right to protest than Djokovic’s old man who threatened to bring his case to the streets. In Australia. He must have meant Serbia where his son does no wrong. For in Australia, the issue polarized a nation that endured hardest lockdowns against the crowned virus and reignited debate about hardline immigrant laws and plight of refugees in the country. 

This is how his refusal to vaccination impacted the entire nation. Not his. And the world. Still not his. I respect his choice, but I dread to know why, lest I lose that respect. But just in case he changes his mind, my good friend Floro Astillo, a co-occupant in an exclusive club only we both know, suggests he could at least try SiNovak.


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