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"I cannot say that this break was caused by my will because I wanted to go to America" - Novak Djokovic on the 3-month gap after winning Wimbledon

Tennis - Olympics: Day 7
Novak Djokovic has missed two Majors in 2022

Novak Djokovic had a disastrous start to his season when he was sent home before the 2022 Australian Open kicked off due to his unvaccinated status against COVID-19.

The Serb has missed quite a few events in 2022 in countries that didn't allow foreigners who had not taken the jab. A few days before the Wimbledon Championships began, the US Government released fresh guidelines regarding the coronavirus, stating that foreign travelers needed to compulsorily produce proof of vaccination to enter the country.

It sparked a debate around the world once again about whether the 35-year-old would be allowed to play or not. Djokovic received a lot of support from the biggest of names but in the end, had to withdraw from the US Open. He waited nearly three months after winning Wimbledon to play another singles tournament in Tel Aviv.

Speaking to media outlet Sportal, the Serb stated that he had never experienced such a long gap without playing unless he was out with an injury. He mentioned that he really wanted to visit the US to play at Flushing Meadows.

"More than three months passed from winning Wimbledon to the next tournament in Israel," Djokovic said. "Somehow, except when I was injured, I never experienced such long breaks. I cannot say that this break was caused by my will because I wanted to go to America, but it was not possible."

Still maintaining a positive attitude, the 21-time Grand Slam winner decided to focus on the advantages of the extended break. He got extra time to work on his game, which he wouldn't ordinarily have had due to his jam-packed schedule.

"The positive thing about it is that I had more time to prepare and work on some elements of the game that usually we tennis players don't have time to work on due to the tight schedule of tournaments. In my opinion, that is a good thing," he added.

Novak Djokovic's PTPA to fight for Simona Halep's rights

Novak Djokovic (L) and Simona Halep
Novak Djokovic (L) and Simona Halep

Last week's biggest news in the tennis world was that the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) provisionally banned Simona Halep after Roxadustat, a prohibited substance, was found in the 31-year-old's drug test from the 2022 US Open.

Founded by Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil, the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) soon released a statement stating that the organization will fight for the rights of Simona Halep, making sure that she gets a fair chance to appeal.

"The PTPA is committed to ensuring that Simona Halep, and every player, has a fair appeal and complete due process. We will fight for her rights and look to advocate for fairness and transparency for all players," the statement read.

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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