Novak Djokovic, one of the greatest tennis players to exist, is currently on a hunt. Djokovic is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam titles by a male player with 20 each. This seems tied, but it truly isn’t. Federer and Nadal have started to age out of the game with nagging injuries, and Djokovic is in much better shape at a younger age. Finishing what had been a great 2021, Djokovic was looking to defend his Australian Open title, and break the record in the process. The key word here is “was”, because COVID has come in his way, and not in the obvious one.
With the Omicron variant dominating the globe, Australia is keen to keep their cases as low as they’ve been throughout the whole pandemic, and that includes a strict vaccine mandate. Djokovic is known to be opposed to vaccines, and the COVID vaccine is one of them. People believed that Djokovic wouldn’t be able to compete in the Australian Open as a result, but Djokovic was able to receive a medical exemption from the tennis committee there, sealing his path there. However, the Australian government decided to step in, and they have asked Djokovic to leave Australia. This led to the outrage of not only Djokovic, but his staff and the Serbian government. Australia has made their stance strong, saying that athletes will not receive silly exemptions and that Djokovic needs to have a reasonable medical exemption. Citizens mostly sided with the Australian government as they felt Djokovic shouldn’t be able to bypass restrictions that easily, and that makes sense as they’ve been on strict lockdown for 21 months so far. This marks another chapter in the COVID-19 vaccine mess, and we’ll see what the ultimate outcome is. Do you think the Australian government was justified?
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