Wimbledon favourite Novak Djokovic has criticised COVID-19 vaccination rules put in place for the US Open after his second-round thrashing of Thanasi Kokkinakis – with the Australian admitting he was given a ‘spanking’.
The No.1 seed took just over two hours to dismantle Kokkinakis 6-1 6-4 6-2 to set up a meeting with 25th seed Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the third round.
Prior to his victory over Kokkinakis, an unvaccinated Djokovic hit out at the vaccine rules that currently will stop him from playing at August’s US Open, explaining he thought there was double standards in play with fellow player Tennys Sandgren, who is allowed to compete despite his unvaccinated status.
“No unvaccinated people can enter the USA as of this moment,” Djokovic said, as quoted by Tennis Majors.
“I did hear unofficially that some people got away with it, some people who are not ‘famous’, but I would never even try to go to the USA if it is not allowed.
“Bottom line is if I am told that I cannot go, I won’t go, I would never put myself in such a position. Even if I get in, they would see me on TV playing tennis and pick me up.
“On a more serious note, I have been texting with Tennys Sandgren a few days ago. I wanted to thank him for the public support he has given me in this situation.
“What he said makes total sense – if unvaccinated players are not allowed to compete at the US Open, then it should be the case for everyone.
“I don’t see the medical logic behind it, that Tennys can play because he is a citizen of the USA and I cannot. If I had a US passport or a green card, I would be able to play.
“Maybe there is a political logic behind it – not medical – but I would rather not get into that and you can understand why.”
Djokovic was unable to compete at Australian Open 2022 after he was deported by immigration authorities due to his unvaccinated status prior to the tournament starting.
Following Djokovic’s comfortable win over Kokkinakis, the Australian admitted to being outclassed by the world No.3.
“It was one-way traffic. I got chopped today,” he said post-match.
“If that’s not his top intensity, I’m going to get chopped even more next time.”
And on an Instagram story with a picture of him shaking hands with Djokovic, Kokkinakis wrote: “Thanks for the spanking bro.”