Novak Djokovic talks about his stance on Covid vaccinations
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Former Italian tennis star Adriano Pannatta has unleashed an extraordinary attack on World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, insisting he does not like the Serb due to his ‘statements’ over the last few years. Panatta also commented on Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, and had far kinder words for the classic duo as he discussed the ‘Big Three’.
Earlier this year, Djokovic was sensationally banned from competing in the 2022 Australian Open after a number of issues arose surrounding his Covid vaccination status. The Australian government then revoked Djokovic’s visa, and the 34-year-old was subsequently deported.
With Djokovic out of the picture in Melbourne, Nadal secured an unprecedented 21st men’s singles Grand Slam title, breaking the tie between the three players. Overall, the three men hold a monstrous 280 ATP titles between them, with Federer claiming a stunning 103 victories.
However, Panatta let his feelings on each of them be known. The 71-year-old, who won the French Open back in 1976, revealed that while he admires Federer and Nadal, he does not like Djokovic.
“Novak Djokovic? I have nothing personal against him, but I don’t like him,” Panatta told Italian Radio Rai Uno show Un Giorna Da Pecora.
“In the last two years he hasn’t got one right, I am referring in particular to his statements. I don’t like today’s tennis, I would say that it bores me. I only follow him for Italian tennis players, let’s say for patriotism.”
Djokovic found himself embroiled in another controversy back in 2020, when he was disqualified from the US Open after accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball during his match against Pablo Carreno-Busta. Panatta certainly prefers to speak about Federer, who hasn’t played since the summer of 2021.
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“Roger is and will always be tennis,” Panatta added. “Nadal? I enjoy watching his matches and above all I admire him from a human point of view.”
Nadal enjoyed a stunning start to 2022, going undefeated until he lost the Indian Wells final to Taylor Fritz after suffering a rib injury which has seen him sidelined for just over a month. Djokovic, meanwhile, has struggled for match sharpness after playing incredibly infrequently following the saga surrounding his vaccination status.
The World No. 1 has faltered in 2022 so far but found form as he reached the final of the Serbia Open, and he hopes to return to his best ahead of his Roland Garros title defence in May. As for Federer, he continues to rehabilitate his right knee injury and is reportedly targeting a return in late summer or early autumn.
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