Man of the moment Novak Djokovic is experiencing probably the most happening July of his tennis career. He started the month by winning his Wimbledon quarterfinal match by coming from two sets down against Jannik Sinner.
The 35-year-old then went on to lift his seventh Wimbledon title by defeating Nick Kyrgios in the final, which saw him receive a hero's welcome on his return to Serbia. He now has the world divided on his unvaccinated status owing to him potentially missing the US Open next month. All this, with more than 10 days left in the month.
When the US Government issued fresh rules and regulations regarding COVID-19 last month, the United States Tennis Association (the US Open organizers) pointed out that it will not seek a special exemption for unvaccinated players. According to the new rules, foreign travelers must produce proof of vaccination against the coronavirus to enter the country. Djokovic has not taken the vaccine and has said that he has no plans to take one in the future.
The Serb is receiving a lot of support from around the world, with many trying to draw as much attention to the situation as possible to force the American government to give Djokovic an exemption to participate in the year's final Grand Slam.
The latest to voice their views is Former American Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, who asked the government to "let one of the best players in the world play at the US Open."
Let @DjokerNole play in the @usopen! The U.S. Open cheapens itself when it bans one of the best players in the world," Grenell tweeted.
Reiterating Grenell's point of view, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson stated that vaccines do not prevent infection and transmission, and that banning the Serb was a bad idea.
"@RichardGrenell is 100% correct on this. Has anyone noticed the vaccines are NOT preventing infection and transmission? The mandates are idiotic, pointless, and destructive. How many jabs did Fauci get? Banning Djokovic would be equally stupid," Johnson said.
However, unless there's a change in the rules or exemptions for unvaccinated players, Djokovic is set to miss his second Major of the year after the Australian Open debacle in January.
Novak Djokovic reacts to Kevin Pietersen's uplifting message for Virat Kohli
India's legendary cricketer Virat Kohli has struggled to perform as per the standards set by himself over the last two years. A string of low scores and below-average stats have given rise to a debate around Kohli's place in the team. While some pundits have called for him to be dropped, a lot of current and former players have shown support for the former captain.
Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen took to social media to encourage the out-of-form Indian batsman. The post was liked by 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic. Kohli attended a match between the Serb and Denis Shapovalov at the 2019 Australian Open. In 2021, when the Indian stalwart posted a few photographs from a series that India won, Djokovic congratulated him on Facebook.