Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis superstar with 21 Grand Slam titles, is no stranger to controversies. He is once again in the news before the 2022 US Open for his continued refusal to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
Here are 5 recent controversies to keep you updated with the latest drama in the life of Novak Djokovic.
Also read: Serbian politician Vesna Pesic calls Novak Djokovic ‘uneducated’
1. Refusal to get vaccinated
Serbian politician and sociologist Vesna Pesic stormed Twitter this morning by criticising the former World No. 1 as “uneducated but not stupid” for remaining obstinate on his decision against vaccination just a week or so before the US Open.
“He’s not stupid, he’s uneducated because he’s only been hitting the ball since he was 6 years old. It’s not a sin, he’s achieved success. I have no chance to fight with them either,” Pesic tweeted. (Via google translation) .
Also read: Here’s how Novak Djokovic can make it to the US Open 2022
Previously, Novak was banned from the Australia Open held early this year. Publicity stunt, career suicide or mere ignorance? You decide.
2. Accidentally hitting a line judge
Djokovic’s chance of winning the 2020 US Open was cut short when he accidentally hit a female line judge in the throat with the ball. The incident happened in his last 16 matches against Pablo Carreno Busta. The Serb had before that lashed out at the match referee after dropping serve at the empty stadium, as fans were prohibited due to the ongoing pandemic.
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3. Demand for private homes with tennis courts
The Serbian player found himself in the line of fire in the 2021 Australia Open when he told the authority to grant all players private homes with tennis courts. He was heavily criticised for his “insensitive luxurious entitlements while the world was grappling with an ongoing pandemic”.
4. Contaminated water + Positive thinking = Drinkable water!
Yes, you read that right. Novak was dragged into criticism when he claimed that positive thinking can purify contaminated water and food. In an online exchange with wellness guru Chervin Jafarieh, the Gram Slam Champion said, “I have seen people and know some people that through energetic transformation, through the power of prayer, through the power of gratitude, manage to change the most toxic food or the most toxic water into healing water.” The Serbian player garnered science lessons and criticism from netizens in the Twitterverse.
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5. Accusations of exaggerating injuries in matches
Players like Pablo Carreno Busta and Tommy Robredo have repeatedly accused the former World No. 1 of making false claims of ailments and calling trainers to tend to his injuries when the match is not going his way.