Greek tennis champion Stefanos Tsitsipas took a swipe against world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic on Wednesday over the Serb’s stance on vaccination.
“It seems that not everyone is playing by the rules,” Tsitsipas said speaking to interviewers from Wion TV channel.
“It never crossed my mind to appear unvaccinated. It takes audacity to risk a Grand Slam, but not everyone seems to be playing by the rules of the Australian Open,” he added.
“A very small percentage of tennis athletes seem to choose their own path, making the majority look like fools,” Tsitsipas said.
Despite initial reservations, the World Number 4 player has recently been vaccinated in order to compete in the Australian Open: “I chose one path, Novak chose another, but it does not mean that mine is right and he is wrong,” Tsitsipas stressed.
Djokovic’s place in the Australian Open still in limbo
Tsitsipas’ criticism comes as the Australian authorities have not yet decided whether to allow Djokovic to participate in the Australian Open.
Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, has been included in the Australian Open draw as the wait to see if his visa will be canceled continues.
Alex Hawke, the Australian immigration minister, continues to deliberate over whether to use his personal powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa and deport him from the country. According to the federal government, Djokovic arrived in Melbourne without an acceptable medical exemption.
Djokovic has admitted there were mistakes made by his representatives on his immigration forms and that it was a mistake to meet with a journalist after testing positive for Covid. The tennis star also said that, prior to that, he had not known he had Covid when he went to two events — the unveiling of a Djokovic stamp and an awards ceremony attended by children.
He wrote on Instagram that he had taken a PCR test on December 16 after attending a basketball match two days before, where a number of people later tested positive.
Djokovic said that he had taken a rapid antigen test before attending both events and was only notified that his PCR was positive after attending the awards ceremony on December 17.
He had his visa revoked on January 6, after arriving in Australia, amid questions over the vaccine exemption that would have permitted him to enter.
On Monday, however, a judge dramatically overturned the decision and ordered the release of the player from detention.