Will Novak Djokovic Win Another Slam?
News broke recently about the 2022 Australian Open requiring participants to be vaccinated. This poses a big dilemma for Novak Djokovic, who has repeatedly spoken about his objections to vaccinations. If he remains steadfast in his anti-vax stance, the Grand Slam race between Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic may very well be over. If the Australian Open imposes such requirements, what’s to say the rest of the slams don’t follow suit?
This would mean that Djokovic would easily miss the next four slams. There is no way he can expect to win another Grand Slam considering his age and how good Medvedev and other rising youngsters will be when Covid requirements are finally lifted. If he declines to play the next four slams, what’s the point of staying on the tour? I could see him retiring while Federer and Nadal soldier on. If that’s the case, then Nadal is left as the only one of the three to truly have another shot at a Grand Slam. Nadal will still be highly competitive at the French Open, and with Djokovic out of the mix, there are very few players that can beat him.
The other scenario is if Djokovic decides taking the vaccine is worth continuing his quest to pass both Federer and Nadal in the Grand Slam race. As everyone knows, Djokovic is the King of the Australian Open, having won nine titles there. It is his best shot to continue his run of Grand Slams. He probably knows this, which is why I have a feeling that we will see him in Australia next year.
In the meantime, Djokovic is on track to finish number one for a record-breaking seventh time in his career. The 2021 US Open was a complete letdown for Djokovic, but it may have served as an opportunity to reset his expectations and take the pressure off in his quest for 21 Grand Slams. Whatever his decision will be, it is sure to make headlines!
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