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"Good thing Novak Djokovic is still alive, else he'd be turning in his grave" - Tennis fans remind Australia about the Serb's eviction as COVID +ve Australian cricketer is allowed to play

Novak Djokovic (L) and Tahlia McGrath
Novak Djokovic (L) and Tahlia McGrath
Parag Jain

Sunday evening saw the tennis and cricket worlds collide, with Novak Djokovic's fans calling out the inclusion of Australian all-rounder Tahlia McGrath in the playing eleven despite testing positive for COVID-19.

Australia and India locked horns for the gold medal in the inaugural Commonwealth Games women’s cricket final at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham. Although Australia were successful as they defeated India by nine runs, the controversy escalated on social media.

A day before the 2022 Australian Open kicked off, unvaccinated Novak Djokovic was deported from the country after the authorities canceled his visa. The defending champion was going for his 21st Grand Slam crown and 10th title Down Under.

Since then, the Serb has stated multiple times that he will not get the COVID-19 vaccine, even if he was to forego the most coveted trophies in tennis. According to the 35-year-old, every individual must be free to choose what to put in their body.

McGrath was experiencing symptoms but was still allowed to play in the final. Fans were quick to come forward in support of Djokovic, accusing the Aussies of "double standards."

"Australia didn't allow Djokovic to participate in the Australian Open because he was not vaccinated but an infected player was allowed to play. Talk about double standards," a fan tweeted.
@deNoronhaUK @ESPNcricinfo Australia didn't allow Djokovic to participate in Australian open because he was not vaccinated but a Infected player is allowed to play. Talk about double standards.
"Stopping Djokovic for not vaccinating himself while allowing Covid +ve players to play. Some will call it hypocrisy, but actually it's hierarchy, they think that they make the rules of the game and everyone will obey them blindly," a user posted.
Stopping Djokovic for not vaccinating himself while allowing Covid +ve players to play. Some will call it hypocrisy, but actually it's hierarchy, they think that they make the rules of the game and everyone will obey them blindly twitter.com/ESPNcricinfo/s…
"So Australia can deny Djokovic from playing in the Australian Open for not being vaccinated, but will allow a Covid +ve person to play a cricket match? And what is the point of testing if a Covid positive person can still play," another tweet read.
So Australia can deny Djokovic from playing in the Australian Open for not being vaccinated but will allow a Covid +ve person to play a cricket match? And what is the point of testing if a Covid positive person can still play! #CWG22 #INDvsAUS #WIvIND #CricketTwitter

Here are a few more reactions:

@ESPNcricinfo This is ridiculous. After this, can't see the logic as regards why they don't allow a Covid free @DjokerNole to play tennis tournaments just becoz he chooses not to vaccinate himself
@ESPNcricinfo Australia did't allow covid negative Djokovic because they wanted to protect their citizens from covid but they are pretty much happy to let covid positive Tahila McGrath infect her teammates & Indian players. Hypocrisy! Covidians don't care about public health.
@NovakFanClub @DjokerNoleIs this another example of the Anglosphere's "rules based international order" in sports? Djokovic was not allowed by Australia in a single-player game, and at the CWG, you have this. Not fair play, any way you look at it. Not cricket. twitter.com/ESPNcricinfo/s…
@ESPNcricinfo But deporting Covid-negative Djokovic. Wow, what a country...
@ESPNcricinfo From not allowing Novak Djokovic to play just because wasn't vaccinated to this!?Not coming as a surprise though considering how Women Hockey SF & Men Long Jump final were held
So @DjokerNole couldn’t play in the Australian Open even though he didn’t have COVID and was no risk to anyone but Tahlia McGrath is free to play in international sport with COVID? I thought the process would be to lock Tahlia in a refugee hotel. Aus is broken! twitter.com/espncricinfo/s…
@cricketcomau Good thing Novak Djokovic is still alive, else he'd be turning in his grave. It was foolish of @AustralianOpen to keep Djoker from playing. It is foolish of #CWG22 to allow Tahila McGrath to play. COVID double standards.
Wasn't that a country which deported unvaccinated #Djokovic for being a threat for public health? I'm totally confused :) twitter.com/ESPNcricinfo/s…

Novak Djokovic withdrew from the Canadian Open last week

Novak Djokovic is likely to miss the 2022 US Open
Novak Djokovic is likely to miss the 2022 US Open

Novak Djokovic, who was an automatic entrant in the National Bank Open due to his ranking, officially withdrew from the Masters 1000 event last week. The tournament begins on Monday and the Serb's decision was expected since neither Canada nor the US is allowing foreign travelers to enter without proof of vaccination.

The World No. 6 has won the tournament four times in the past. Unless there is a change in the rules in the US, Djokovic is set to miss the US Open, his second Grand Slam event of the year.


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala

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