NOVAK DJOKOVIC has been accused of “playing by his own rules” and putting the Australian Open “at risk” because he remains unvaccinated.
World No 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas broke ranks in the dressing room when he criticized the defending champions before the tournament began on Monday.
The Greek player, 23, said: “He played by his own rules and did what not many players have the guts to do.
“Especially after the ATP announced certain criteria for entry-level players.
“Nobody really thought they could come to Australia without vaccinations and without having to follow the protocols.
“It takes a lot of dare and is putting Grand Slams at risk, which I don’t think many players will do.”
Djokovic was held to a draw against fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round of the Aussie Open.
The 34-year-old is trying to win Slam No 21 and surpass the record he currently shares with his opponents Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.
Overnight, however, he waited to find out if Immigration Minister Alex Hawke will try to kick him out of Australia because of a visa error.
The world number 1 tennis player won a court appeal to stay in the country after border officials failed to follow the correct procedure. But later it was discovered that there was a conflict with his application for admission.
If his visa is revoked again and he is eventually kicked out of Oz, he will face the prospect of a three-year ban from Australia.
In the draw – which was delayed by more than an hour – Andy Murray was paired with 21st seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.
This comes a day after the Scotsman defeated the Georgian in the Sydney Classics.
No. 1 Cameron Norrie of England will face Sebastian Korda of the US, who is self-isolating with Covid in Adelaide, while 24th seed Dan Evans will face David Goffin of Belgium.
Murray and Evans will meet in the final in Sydney if they win today’s semi-final.
Australian World No 1 Ash Barty started her first title quest at her home Slam with a qualifier, while Nadal against the hairless American Marcos Giron.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17317589/novak-djokovic-stefanos-tsitsipas-australia-open/ Unvaccinated Novak Djokovic is putting the Australian Open at risk and playing by his own rules, causing Stefanos Tsitsipas to explode