Novak Djokovic needs to ‘get through the storm’ after Australia deportation to win – on sport news

sport, Tennis, Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic needs to 'get through the storm' after Australia deportation to win

Novak Djokovic said his fourth straight Wimbledon win was more important after he needed time to “get through the storm” following his deportation from Australia.

Djokovic beat Nick Kyrgios 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to claim his first Grand Slam title since Wimbledon last year.

The Serb was deported shortly before the start of the Australian Open in January after a dispute over the status of his vaccine.

“Wimbledon has historically come at an important stage in my life,” he said.

Djokovic has won seven of his 21 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon, with only Roger Federer claiming more in the men’s competition.

He was unable to compete at the Australian Open – where he is a nine-time winner – because he was not vaccinated for Covid-19 but arrived in the country after being granted a medical exemption.

However, the 10-day story eventually led to his visa being canceled on “health and order” grounds and he was later deported and given a three-year visa ban after spending time in detention.

“This year has started as it has started and that has affected me in the first few months of the year,” said the 35-year-old.

“I don’t feel great in general. Mentally, emotionally, I’m not in a good place.

“I realized at that moment that it would take time, that I would have to be patient, and sooner or later I would get myself in optimal condition.”

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Djokovic also missed the tournament in the United States due to his unvaccinated status and his French Open title defense was stopped by Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals last month.

However, he has dominated Wimbledon in recent years and has not lost there since retiring through injury in the quarter-finals in 2017.

“It’s no coincidence that Wimbledon has such relevance in my life and career,” he said.

“It’s a relief too, considering what I’ve been through this year. It adds more and more significance and more emotion, of course.”

Despite retaining his title, current world number three Djokovic will drop to world number seven as no points are available at this year’s Wimbledon.

Daniil Medvedev, who was unable to compete in SW19 due to the bans of Russia and Belarus, will maintain his position as number one.

“I doubt I’ll go and chase the points,” Djokovic said of his future schedule.

“Things have changed in the last year and a half for me. I hit those historic weeks for the number one I’ve worked on my whole life.

“Now that it’s done and cleared, I really prioritize the Slams and the big tournaments and where I want to play, where I feel good.”

‘Not many people can still play tennis after Australia’
As it stands, Djokovic will not be able to compete at the US Open because unvaccinated non-residents are not allowed into the United States.

Djokovic said an exception allowing him to enter the United States was “realistically impossible”.

“I wasn’t vaccinated and I don’t plan on getting vaccinated so the only good news I got is they removed the mandated or exemption green vaccine cards,” he said.

“I don’t know what the exception is about. I don’t have much of an answer there.”

Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, who has coached Djokovic since 2019, said it was “heroic” to return to tennis after his troubles in Australia.

“People, after that they never go back to tennis or anything,” said the Croatian.

“[It’s difficult] it’s incredible how he recovered and how he got through that. It’s really, to me, heroic because it’s not easy to digest things and get back to playing tennis.

“Better now. You know where you can go, where you can’t go. It’s easier.”

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