tennis Brad Gilbert believes Novak Djokovic will be hindered at other tournaments due to his vaccination status

Tennis

American tennis great Brad Gilbert has made a drastic assessment of Novak Djokovic’s bid to be the greatest in history, as the world No.1 fights to remain in Australia for the first Grand Slam of the year.

Djokovic is level with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on a record 20 singles Grand Slam victories and is hoping to push clear of his fierce rivals in the Australian Open.

But the Serbian will have his hopes dashed if the federal government overturns the result of Monday’s court visa battle.

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Gilbert believes Djokovic’s refusal to get vaccinated could continue to cause a nightmare for the controversial star beyond the Australian Open.

“I think there will be numerous tournaments and other majors he will no longer be able to participate in if he chooses to stay unvaccinated,” Gilbert said.

“I’m not sure every country has medical exemptions for COVID. There might be some for an irregular heartbeat.

“But it’s going to be a very difficult proposition to be a full-time player being unvaccinated.”

Gilbert said his take on the race to secure the most singles Grand Slam majors had changed dramatically in recent months.

“If you’d have asked me six months ago or nine months ago, even at the US Open, I thought (Djokovic) was well on his way to smashing the men’s record,” Gilbert said.

“I actually thought that he would end up passing (Australian legend) Margaret Court.

“I thought he might get 25 to 27 majors.”

Djokovic last won a major at Wimbledon in 2021, defeating Italian Matteo Berrettini.

He lost the 2021 US Open final to Russian Daniil Medvedev in September.

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