Novak Djokovic's participation in the upcoming US Open looks increasingly unlikely. However, he continues to receive support from all over the world.
Indian actress Tapsee Pannu was the latest to join the bandwagon. She took a dig at the Australian government after news broke of Tahlia McGrath playing in the final of the 2022 Commonwealth Games against India on Sunday, despite testing positive for COVID.
"And this is from the same country who created the biggest issue with Djokovic’s entry in the country coz he wasn’t vaccinated," Taapsee Pannu tweeted.
Taapsee Pannu is an Indian actress who primarily acts in Hindi movies. Other than Bollywood, Pannu is also a well-known face among Tamil and Telegu fans.
Earlier this year, Djokovic was deported from Australia despite being granted an exemption by Tennis Australia to compete at the Australian Open. The Serb also missed the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami due to his unvaccinated status.
Although Djokovic was allowed to play at the French Open and Wimbledon, he is set to miss the entirety of the North American swing as things stand. The former World No. 1 withdrew from the Canadian Open last week.
"Novak Djokovic should be playing at the US Open" - Jonathan Reiner
Novak Djokovic has stood firm on his decision not to take the COVID vaccine even if it means he could miss a number of important tournaments. The Serb has received plenty of support over the past few months from US politicians and the general public to be allowed to play in the final Major of the year.
Djokovic has now found support from Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist at George Washington University Hospital. Dr. Reiner is a renowned doctor who specializes in interventional cardiology, cardiac catheterization, and heart attack treatment.
While appearing as a guest on Patrick McEnroe’s podcast, Dr.Reiner said that Djokovic should be allowed to play in the US Open. However, Reiner also believes that the Serb should have taken the vaccine during "the worst time of the pandemic."
“Even though I think he should be playing at the US Open, I think he was completely wrong at the worst time of the pandemic, when he should have been held up as an example and he didn’t," Reiner said.
The doctor went on to label Djokovic's actions as "pure selfishness," saying athletes ought to be "role models for the public."
"What he did is very selfish, it’s what he did this winter, it’s pure selfishness," Reiner said.
"When I look at athletes, I see them as role models for the public and they try to represent the best of us," he added. "When guys play baseball or go to the US Open and cheer on a player, I hope that player teaches me what I need to do to reach higher levels in my life."
"A demonstration of courage, discipline or sacrifice.”
Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, has let his tennis do the talking of late. The Serb won his seventh Wimbledon title in July, beating Nick Kyrgios in four sets in the final. He also won the Rome Open in May, taking his Masters 1000 tally to 38.