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12 Jan, 2022 16:52

Tennis star labels Djokovic ‘selfish’ for not bending to vaccination demands

Joao Sousa described the Serb's Australian Open saga as 'not good' for the sport
Tennis star labels Djokovic ‘selfish’ for not bending to vaccination demands

Portuguese ace Joao Sousa has hit out at 'selfish' rival Novak Djokovic while claiming that his Australian Open visa drama is 'not good for tennis'.

Like Djokovic, world number 140 Sousa is currently Down Under – albeit with far less of a furor surrounding his presence.

"Djokovic has his ideals. [But] what is happening is not good for tennis," Sousa told Portuguese tennis site Bola Amarela when asked about the unvaccinated world number one, who is facing a battle to remain in Australia.

"I can put myself in his shoes and understand what he's going through, [and] I understand that it's what he believes in, but it's a little [bit of a] selfish attitude towards fellow professionals because many of us – not me – also didn't want to get vaccinated and we had to do it in order to play.

"Those were the rules. But they have turned out to be rules that Djokovic managed to get around," Sousa continued. 

"And he was the only one who is not vaccinated to come here and compete in this Grand Slam.

"For all other players, it is not an easy decision to accept. But I understand that he defends his ideals. We have to accept it and what matters is that everything is fine, [and] healthy," he finished.

As the Portuguese journalist responsible for the short interview shared a snippet on social media, Djokovic's followers immediately rushed to his defense.

"Joao needs to focus on his own crumbling career, and [not] worry about drama surrounding the GOAT," one advised him. 

"See now I thought Novak cared about lower ranked players," someone replied. "I guess [it's] only ones who are loyal to him?"

"Completely failed logic by Joao," another fan chimed in.

"It sounds like, 'I didn't have balls to stand up for my beliefs, so you shouldn't be allowed to do it either'."

"Novak didn't invent those rules," a separate party pointed out.

"If anyone thinks that this isn't fair, don't point your finger at him, but Tennis Australia or some other organization which allowed medical exemptions.

"If the vaccine was the only way to be there, Novak wouldn't play. But this is not his fault," it was protested.

Elsewhere, a compatriot advised Sousa not to "get caught up in this political sh*t storm".