Freeman Cebu Sports


WRECKORDER - FGS Gujilde - The Freeman

Finally, Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia and denied the chance to win a record-extending tenth Australian Open title and 21st overall, to pull away from the greatest trivalry. Collateral damage. A few top players call it bad for tennis. They miss the point. It’s not about tennis, it’s about public health and safety.

Why he insisted to stay and play against tournament and immigration rules is beyond me. The solution should have been simple, vaccinate or evaporate. There is no middle ground. But sure there were middlemen, his lawyers who fought tooth and nail to buck his impending deportation. And yes, there is the middle finger, in the form of an embarrassing exile.

  He thinks his refusal to inoculate should be respected, but he has no choice but respect the more compelling reasons of Australian authorities to refuse his entry and stay. They call it public interest, he enables people opposed to vaccination. Djokovic has nothing but personal interest. But no one is above the law. Elsewhere. Unless he obeys rules, the king is not welcome to his hard court kingdom. Australian authorities had no choice, leniency to one foreigner while its citizens endured hardest lockdowns is unacceptable. Beyond justification.

But apparently, the Serbian world number one doesn’t give a damn. He didn’t, even if his balls hit another, except maybe each other. He didn’t, even if he foils opportunity of his mixed doubles partner to play for bronze at Tokyo. For him it meant nothing, he has been in that stage and beyond many times before, equivalent to quarterfinals in professional singles. But for his virtually unknown compatriot, it was the chance of a lifetime. But he stood up the woman because he can’t move on from his singles debacle.

This is the same man who reminded the greatest gymnast of all time pressure is a privilege. If the woman who said that iconic line were his age today, he could have been at the other side of the net in that gender-bending battle of the sexes. Mismatch? Not necessarily. If Novak is king, the pioneer woman who raised the level of women’s tennis is also called King. But Billie Jean is pure royalty. Novak is travesty, except for his tennis mastery.

  Still he didn’t, even if he exposed others to the crowned virus, including kids. He claims he didn’t know about his positive result. Which means he was tested, it does not license him to go out, only a negative result does. He knew it could be either way unlike a tennis match that almost always goes his way.

Now he has gone awry, he cannot defend his crown because he doesn’t care if he wears the viral crown and passes it on to others. Had he been allowed to play, he could have won the battle that started even before he set foot on the court. By then he could have gone down in history not only as the greatest, but also the toughest. Mentally. Of course with the thickest purse. And face. That’s how I would have summed up his most successful career. As a whole. Read with proper spacing. Otherwise it sounds like what I’m actually meaning.


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