“Whole Story Is Unfair”: Doubles Legend Defends Novak Djokovic Over Australian Open 2022 Speculations

Published 12/16/2021, 12:31 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Being Novak Djokovic is not easy. You overpowered two of the most celebrated icons of the sport in Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and is all set to win more Grand Slams than these two players. Yet, in terms of reception, the Serb has always been the recipient of adversity on and off the court.


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The 2021 US Open finals was a rare instance where Djokovic was completely embraced by the crowd and it was clearly an emotional moment for the world no.1.

Even though he ended up losing the match to Medvedev, the Serb bounced back in fashion to clinch the Paris Masters and also won the year-end no.1 crown.


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After he completes the 2021 season by being an integral part of team Serbia and took them to the semis in Davis Cup, Djokovic is still unclear of whether he will fly to Australia or not for the tennis summer.

The world no.1 preferred to keep it tight and ducked all the questions shot at him regarding his journey to Australia. This made the Australian tabloids speculating that Djokovic might enter the tournament under a special ‘medical exemption’.

Paul McNamee denies special exemption being provided to Novak Djokovic at Australian Open

Ever since the news broke out, Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia denied them stating that there was no special privilege given to Djokovic and even Prime Minister Scott Morrison also refuted the claims. But, somehow, the Serbian star is still the topic of discussion in the land ‘down under’.

Tennis – Davis Cup Finals – Group F – Serbia v Austria – Olympiahalle, Innsbruck, Austria – November 26, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his match against Austria’s Dennis Novak REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Now, former Australian doubles star Paul McNamee came out in favor of Novak and said that the reports talking about a special medical exemption hold no value.

It is concocted. I call it a fantasy. No substance to that story you refer to. If he had, we wouldn’t now about it any way. Even the journalists can’t confirm it. It’s the possibility that someone could apply and he could be one of them. But, there’s absolutely no substance to Novak Djokovic applied(medical exemption)”, explained McNamee.

Watch this story: Five Major Life Lessons We Can Learn From Tennis Star Serena Williams

“People should cut him a little bit of slack” – McNamee on Djokovic


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The two-time doubles Wimbledon champion continued, “He, absolutely, in my opinion, is not applying for an exemption. That whole story is unfair to him. I think people should cut him a little bit of slack and that’s why I have spoken out”. 

Right now, there is so much of confusion regarding Djokovic’s participation that speculations and assumptions are ruling the roost. As the Serbian star is yet to speak out, it looks like these assumptions are only going to increase with each passing day.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – Accor Arena, Paris, France – November 7, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Novak Djokovic will be looking for a tenth Australian Open crown and his 21st major title if he intends to play in Australia next January.


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Sagar Ashtakoula

723 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.