One of Novak Djokovic’s main rivals has accused the world No 1 of making vaccinated players “look like fools” at the Australian Open.
World No 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas attacked Djokovic for “playing by his own rules” while the vast majority of competitors had got the jab “in order to come and perform”.
Tensions between players surfaced as the Serb was finally poised to find out whether he faced deportation following his drawn out visa wrangle.
As the Australian Government edged closer to an announcement, Tsitsipas became the third top-five player to suggest he would not be disappointed if Djokovic was forced to leave.
The Greek player, who lost to Djokovic in last year’s Roland Garros final, said arriving in Australia without having the vaccine was effectively putting the grand slam at risk.
“The stats say 98 per cent of players have been vaccinated and did what they had to do in order to come and perform and play in Australia,” he told Indian network WIO News.
“For sure, he’s been playing by his own rules and has been doing what not many players had the guts to do, especially after the ATP announced certain criteria for players to enter the country. No one really thought they could come to Australia unvaccinated and not having to follow the protocols… it takes a lot of daring to do that and putting the grand slam at risk, which I don’t think many players would do.”