'A lot of masks fell off': Novak Djokovic's brutal dig at rivals amid Australian Open saga

Published on Oct 28, 2022 11:19 PM IST

Djokovic was denied the opportunity to defend his title in Melbourne earlier this year as he was deported from Australia owing to his Covid vaccination status. He was subsequently handed a three year ban on his visa as well.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia
Novak Djokovic of Serbia

Novak Djokovic feels that his Australian Open saga earlier this year showed him the true colours of his rivals on the tour. Djokovic was denied the opportunity to defend his title in Melbourne earlier this year as he was deported from Australia owing to his Covid vaccination status. He was subsequently handed a three year ban on his visa as well.

Djokovic was expected to reign supreme in 2022 as well after picking up three Grand Slam titles in 2021 in what was an unforgettable season for the Serb. But Djokovic incurred a 2022 like no other. After the Australian Open episode, he was denied entry in the U.S as well for the North-American hardcourt swing as he missed the final Grand Slam owing to the same reason.

As Djokovic awaits his fate for the 2023 Australian Open owing to his visa ban, he claimed that “a lot of masks came off” during the ordeal in 2022.

ALSO READ: Novak Djokovic fires massive warning to Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz ahead of Paris Masters

“I know that everything that has happened to me this year, especially with Australia and everything that came after, and dealing with me that I didn't like and had never experienced before, taught me some important life lessons,” he told Sportal.

He continued: “It shows me what kind of world I live in, especially in this tennis ecosystem. A lot of masks fell off, so to speak, and it's very interesting for me to see how someone treated me this year.”

Djokovic however admitted that he doesn't want to criticise people who slammed him for his stance on Covid vaccination, saying, “I respect that everyone has a different way of thinking about my situation and the circumstances. Finally, I have never insulted anyone or ever tried to be disrespectful in any way. I've always tried to show that it's important that everyone has the right and freedom of choice. For the decisions I made, I knew there would be certain consequences.”

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