Novak Djokovic returned to detention in Australia

The soap opera of the participation of the Serbian tennis player in the Australian Open continues, Saturday, January 15, with his return to administrative detention in the Melbourne hotel used by the government to retain people in an irregular situation. He had been placed there previously before being released on Monday, January 10.

In his pleadings filed in court on Saturday, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke argued that Novak Djokovic’s presence in the country was “likely to pose a health risk to the Australian community”. According to him, the position of the player could encourage “anti-vaccination sentiment” and dissuade Australians from getting their booster shots, or even “lead to an upsurge in civil unrest “.

A bad example for Australians

The minister thus canceled Djokovic’s visa for the second time on Friday, January 14, by virtue of his discretionary power, invoking “ health and public order reasons », and considering that the « contempt Djokovic’s past with regard to health rules against the Covid was a bad example.

The Australian government launched deportation proceedings against the Serbian star earlier this week, which were unsuccessful after a judge blocked Djokovic’s deportation, reinstated his visa and ordered his immediate release.

Two days before the opening of the Australian Open, the participation of the Serb, who was to face his compatriot Miomir Kekmanovic on Monday in the first round, now seems unlikely.

Rafael Nadal annoyed

Novak Djokovic had been blocked on his arrival in Australia on January 5 and placed in administrative detention for the first time. The player, who contracted Covid-19 in December, hoped to be granted an exemption to enter the country without being vaccinated, which was not accepted by the authorities. This twisty soap opera takes place in a country whose inhabitants have endured some of the strictest health restrictions in the world for almost two years, and where elections are scheduled for May.

The Djokovic case is also followed assiduously in Serbia where “Nole is considered a national hero. On Friday, President Aleksandar Vucic accused Australia of “to mistreat “.

The other players preparing for the tournament no longer hide their annoyance and weariness. “The Australian Open is more important than any player” And this “will be a great Australian Open with or without him”, declared the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, one of the three superstars of world tennis, alongside Djokovic and the Swiss Roger Federer.


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Djokovic gives the first advantage before the hearing

AustraliaThe Federal Supreme Court of Australia has decided that the January 16 trial on Novak Djokovic’s visa will have three judges, instead of one.

At 6:55 pm on January 15, Melbourne time, Judge David O’Callaghan said Djokovic’s hearing will be attended by him, Judge Anthony Besanko and Chief Justice James Allsop. Judge O’Callaghan had previously presided over a hearing on the morning of January 15, in which the parties argued whether the case should be heard by one or three Judges. Djokovic’s lawyer wants three judges, while the Australian government believes that only one is needed.

Djokovic is the number one seed at the 2022 Australian Open, scheduled to play on Monday, January 17. Photo: The Age

According to Australian media, when the trial has three judges, the minister cannot appeal the final decision of the court. If he wins this hearing, Djokovic will be able to play at the Australian Open. But, newspaper The Age stressed that the Minister’s decision to use his personal power is rarely overturned in court. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke revoked Djokovic’s visa for the second time on the afternoon of January 14, citing the Serbian tennis player’s presence at the Australian Open “threatening the safety and order of the community”.

Mr. Hawke gave evidence that is considered certain, when he emphasized that the owner of 9 Australian Open titles still attends community activities in Serbia despite being infected with Covid-19. “Mr. Djokovic is a man who has a great influence on the majority. His disregard for the law can destabilize Australian society, where groups of people exist in the name of freedom to infringe on public health. “, The Age disclosed part of a document Hawke’s attorney submitted to the court. According to this newspaper, Minister Hawke has not used another “weapon”, which is evidence that Djokovic perjured when he entered Melbourne on January 5.

Djokovic was taken to the original detention place, the Park Hotel on the afternoon of January 15. He stayed here for one night, before attending the hearing at 9:30 on January 16, Melbourne time. The trial will be streamed online, with pre-presentations by Djokovic’s defense attorneys.

According to former Australian Open CEO Paul McNamee, Djokovic was the victim of a “witch hunt”. He wrote in the newspaper Sydney Morning Herald: “Novak Djokovic is an easy target for the Australian Government because he has not been vaccinated and is a public figure. People used to worry that Novak was getting special treatment because he was the number one tennis player. But the reality is the opposite. It’s only because of ‘mass influence’ that he faces deportation.”

According to the newspaper Sports Club of Serbia, Tennis Australia not only approved medical exemption for Djokovic and two other players, but also special entry for coach Filip Serdarusic – Croatian coach and brother of tennis player Nino Serdarusic. Serdarusic said he boarded a flight chartered by Tennis Australia, and entered the country with the reason of having Covid-19 in October 2021.

“The Australian Border Force officer looked at the file and said I could be quarantined for 14 days because I hadn’t been vaccinated,” Serdarusic said. “But then she called the boss. The boss came over to see the documents, took pictures of them and said I could enter the country without quarantine. Half a month later Djokovic came and they called me at 10 pm to let me know. I returned the medical waiver. I decided to pack up and leave Australia because I’m not as good at fighting as Djokovic.”

Nhan Dat (follow News AU)



Tennis: Australia cancels Novak Djokovic’s visa again

The Australian visa of tennis world number one Novak Djokovic, who entered the country without being vaccinated against Covid-19, has been canceled for the second time, announced Friday January 14 the Minister of Immigration, Alex Hawke. This decision was made “on health and public order grounds”, the minister said in a statement. The Australian government “is strongly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic”, he added.

→ READ. Antivax, esotericism and mysterious pyramid: Novak Djokovic, follower of pseudo-sciences

This second visa cancellation implies that the Serbian player, who was aiming for a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open which begins on Monday January 17, will be banned from entering the country for three years, except in certain circumstances.

Australian authorities also intend to order the return of the world number one in detention as of Saturday morning, government lawyer Stephen Lloyd announced on Friday. The government wants the Serb to be released from detention only to attend, in the offices of his lawyers and under the supervision of border police officers, the online court hearings concerning his case, the lawyer said .

Djokovic will not be expelled from Australia until justice has been finally pronounced, had previously assured Stephen Lloyd during a hearing before a judge in Melbourne. This Victorian judge, Anthony Kelly, announced on Friday that he was relinquishing responsibility in favor of Australian federal justice, despite the objections of the player’s lawyers who said they feared a slowdown in the procedure.

Novak Djokovic was training for the tournament

The 34-year-old’s visa had already been canceled for the first time on January 5 when he arrived in Melbourne, and Novak Djokovic was then placed in a detention center for deportation.

→ REREAD. The Djokovic case raises the question of the vaccination status of athletes

The tennis player’s lawyers had however won a resounding victory on January 10, obtaining from a judge that he restore his visa and order his immediate release. Since then, Novak Djokovic has been training for the tournament, and was due to face his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, 78, in the first round.and world player.

But the Minister of Immigration retained the possibility of canceling the visa again under his discretionary power.



Antivax, esotericism and mysterious pyramid: Novak Djokovic, follower of pseudosciences

The standoff continues between Novak Djokovic and Australian justice. The tennis player, unvaccinated, admitted Wednesday, January 12 in an Instagram post to have committed “Errors” after testing positive for Covid-19 on December 16.

The world number one did not consider it necessary to postpone a meeting with journalists from the daily The team two days later. “I felt compelled to continue and to do the L’Équipe interview because I didn’t want to let the journalist down”, he justified himself.

→ EXPLANATION. Novak Djokovic, vaccination and Australia: the reasons for a diplomatic incident

Novak Djokovic also pleaded “Human error” for having incorrectly completed the entry form to Australia. The player certifies not to have traveled in the 14 days preceding his arrival in the Antipodes. A period during which he nevertheless found himself in Serbia and then in Spain.

This false declaration earned him the cancellation of his visa, obtained thanks to a medical exemption allowing him to participate without being vaccinated at the Australian Open from January 17 to 30. This cancellation had itself been revoked by the Australian justice on Monday January 10.

Vaccine skepticism

Behind this politico-judicial imbroglio, there is the vagueness that has long surrounded the vaccination status of Novak Djokovic. The world number one has never hidden his skepticism towards vaccination.Personally, I am opposed to vaccination and I would not want to be forced by someone to have a vaccine in order to be able to travel ”, he said in April 2020 on Facebook.

→ ANALYSIS. The Djokovic case raises the question of the vaccination status of athletes

The Serbian champion is also known for his controversial positions vis-à-vis science. Adept of a gluten-free diet – a diet he defends in his book Winning service. Gluten-free food for perfect physical and mental health -, the 34-year-old player has never hidden his attraction for alternative medicines and pseudosciences.

In spring 2020, Novak Djokovic for example hosted a live Instagram with Chervin Jafarieh, well-being guru and boss of the food supplement brand Cymbiotika. The Serbian player said: I have seen people and I know people who through energetic transformation, the power of prayer, the power of gratitude, manage to transform the most toxic foods and the most polluted water into the most purifying. “

Novak Djokovic thus echoed the theory of Masaru Emoto, doctor of alternative medicine, according to which thought can have an impact on the structure of water. A theory more than controversial and which has never been validated by the scientific community. The champion and his wife Jelena are also followers of the Steiner-Waldorf pedagogy, named after the Austrian author Rudolf Steiner, theorist of anthroposophy. This esoteric ideology mixes concepts from different religions and considers that the world is moved by spiritual forces.

Esoteric pilgrimages

The pilgrimages of the Serbian in the small town of Visoko in Serbia are also talking. In 2005, Semir Osmanagic, a Serbian businessman, claims that the hill overlooking the village is actually a pyramid built by a technologically superior civilization. Novak Djokovic is going there in 2020 and says he felt “Regenerated”. Since then, tourism has exploded in the village, to the delight of Semir Osmanagic.

→ MAINTENANCE. Bronner report: “The Covid-19 revealed forms of conspiracy in certain Catholic fringes”

Convinced that his beliefs play a role in his many successes, the player with twenty major titles is not yet out of the woods. The Australian immigration minister can still cancel his visa permanently, preventing him from taking part in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.



Tennis: an Australian judge orders the release of Novak Djokovic

Judge Anthony Kelly ended several days of legal battle by ordering on Monday January 10 the immediate release of Novak Djokovic, who, wishing to enter Australia without being vaccinated against Covid-19, has been held since his arrival in a center for migrants in Melbourne.

Christopher Tran, a government lawyer, warned, however, that Canberra could still decide to expel Novak Djokovic from the country, which would result in him being barred from entering Australia for three years.

→ EXPLANATION. Novak Djokovic, vaccination and Australia: the reasons for a diplomatic incident

The tennis player’s lawyers were trying to convince the federal court that the Serbian champion had contracted the Covid in December, which would exempt him from a compulsory vaccination to enter the territory. “What more could this man have done?” “, admitted during the hearing followed online by AFP the judge, who considered that Djokovic provided evidence, emanating from “Of a professor and an eminently qualified doctor” regarding his request for a medical exemption.

The “completely confused” player

The hearing opened late after a computer problem due to too many connections to attend its online retransmission, finally shared on YouTube in particular, despite a ban, by antivax. Djokovic, who did not speak at the hearing, finally obtained permission from the court to follow Monday’s proceedings from another, undisclosed location, before being forced to return to the detention center in the outcome of the hearings.

According to the sportsman’s lawyers, the player was “Completely confused”, when he was heard for several hours on the night of January 5 to 6 at Melbourne airport. They argued in particular that he was deprived of means of communication with his entourage during his interrogation. His lawyers say he tested positive for Covid-19 on December 16. However, he attended the next day in Belgrade, without a mask, a ceremony in honor of young Serbian players.

The Australian Open, where Djokovic aims to afford a 21st Grand Slam tournament that would place him at the top of tennis history ahead of his two historic rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, begins in seven days and his participation depended entirely on Anthony Kelly’s decision.



Novak Djokovic, vaccination and Australia: the reasons for a diplomatic incident

The Australian Open tennis tournament could be played without its nine-time winner: Novak Djokovic has been detained in Melbourne by immigration services since his arrival on Wednesday evening. The visa of the Serbian world number one – who has always refused to say if he was vaccinated or not – has been canceled by the authorities, despite a medical exemption obtained to participate in the tournament (January 17 to 30). Threatened with deportation, he obtained a reprieve on Thursday until Monday. “La Croix” takes stock.

► What is the medical exemption that Novak Djokovic had announced to have obtained?

For months, “Nole” had cast doubt on his participation in the Australian Open because of the obligation to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the country. The Serb, whose vaccination status is unknown, finally announced on Tuesday that he had obtained a medical waiver issued by the state of Victoria (where the tournament takes place) and theAustralian Tennis Federation for unvaccinated people.

→ ANALYSIS. The Djokovic case raises the question of the vaccination status of athletes

The reason for this exemption was not disclosed, the Federation invoking medical confidentiality. According to several media, it could have been granted due to contamination prior to Covid-19. The player had indeed tested positive in June 2020. According to the Australian daily The Age, it could have been contaminated again “At some point in the last six months”.

In Australia, this exemption was seen as preferential treatment, when the leaders of the Australian Open had promised the greatest firmness towards the unvaccinated. Wednesday, the Australian tabloid Courier Mail thus titled “You must be Djoking” (“You are joking”), a play on words around the name of the player, renamed “No-Vax” Djokovic. “If he is not vaccinated, he will have to provide acceptable proof that he cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons (…). If this proof is not sufficient, he will be treated like all the others. (unvaccinated) and sent home, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had also warned at a press conference.

► Why was he, despite everything, turned away?

Despite this medical exemption, Novak Djokovic’s visa was finally canceled Thursday by Australian authorities upon his arrival in the country. According to The Age, contrary to what had been put forward at first, this refusal would not be linked to a visa error – the player would have presented a document which does not allow a medical exemption for a non-vaccinated person – but the reasons invoked by the Serbian to justify his supposed non-vaccination. “There does not seem to be a causal relationship between the fact that recently contracted the Covid and the fact that he was not vaccinated “, thus indicates the daily.

→ PORTRAIT. Winner at Roland-Garros, Djokovic on the road to the record

Novak Djokovic appealed against this decision. He was granted a reprieve until Monday. In the meantime, the Belgrade native is being held in a Melbourne hotel used by the government to hold people in an irregular situation. Several supporters gathered there to show their support, and at least one person was apprehended as the police tried to disperse the demonstrators.

► How did his arrest turn into the diplomatic incident?

The affair turned into a diplomatic incident after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic regretted Wednesday evening on Instagram the ” bad treatment “ inflicted on Novak Djokovic by Australia. Thursday, Aleksandar Vucic went even further by denouncing “A political hunt”.

The Serbian authorities, he stressed, are doing “All they can” to help the world number one, specifying that Belgrade has contacted twice the Australian ambassador in Serbia and that the prime minister, Ana Brnabic, is to meet with a senior official of the Australian ministry of immigration and borders .

Belgrade intends to ask the Australian authorities to allow Novak Djokovic to stay in the house he had rented for the Australian Open and not in the hotel where he is currently and which the Serbian president has described “Infamous in the proper sense of the word”. The player’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, has also called for a demonstration of support in Belgrade.

► What is Novak Djokovic’s position on the vaccine?

The Serb has always refused to say whether he was vaccinated or not. “I’m going to keep the decision to get vaccinated or not to myself. I don’t want to be labeled pro or anti vaccine ”, he had declared at Roland Garros last April. The world number one, however, has never hidden his opposition to compulsory vaccination, repeatedly believing that everyone should be “Free” to make a choice.

→ EXPLANATION. Covid-19: what we know about the consequences for athletes

In June 2020, the Serbian had also been criticized after his contamination during the charitable tour he himself organized in the Balkans. “In Serbia, Corona is just a drink! “, he had fun at the start of this tournament, during which the barrier gestures had not been respected and which had ended up being canceled after the detection of several positive cases.



The Djokovic case raises the question of the vaccination status of athletes

The joy of the world number one in tennis was short-lived. Tuesday, January 4, a smiling Novak Djokovic posed on the tarmac of an airport, ready to fly to Melbourne. The man with the 20 Grand Slam titles including nine on Australian soil – was pleased to have obtained a medical exemption to be able to play the Australian Open, from January 17 to 30. The Serb was disillusioned when he arrived at Melbourne airport the next day. After detaining the player for several hours, the Australian authorities finally canceled his visa, compromising his participation in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.

“Mr. Djokovic did not provide the appropriate information to enter Australia”, explained Greg Hunt, the Australian Minister of Health, Wednesday evening. According to the local daily The Age, he would not have completed the correct form for the type of visa he requested. The decision of the Australian authorities comes in any case at the end of two days of imbroglio around the vaccination situation of Novak Djokovic. The Serbian player, openly hostile to vaccination, has never communicated on his vaccination status.

“The world has suffered enough like this not to follow the rules”

The vagueness surrounding the granting of a medical exemption to Novak Djokovic has not failed to revive the debate on the vaccination of athletes. “The only thing clear to me is that if you are vaccinated you can play the Australian Open and everywhere else. (…) I think that if Novak wanted it, he would play in Australia without problem ”, Rafael Nadal reacted on Thursday, on the sidelines of the Melbourne tournament in which he takes part, adding that “The world has suffered enough like this not to follow the rules.”

→ DEBATE. Covid-19: should vaccination be made compulsory?

If other renowned athletes, like Kylian Mbappé, have shown themselves to be fervent activists for vaccination, others have expressed their reluctance towards vaccines. This is the case with NBA superstar Kyrie Irving. Refusing to be vaccinated, the basketball player of the Brooklyn Nets has missed 35 games this season … before returning to the workforce at the request of his leaders.

A question of ethics

For their part, the Australian authorities do not seem willing to grant such a privilege to Novak Djokovic. Australian Prime Minister himself Scott Morisson demanded that the Serbian player provide the evidence justifying the exemption, otherwise “He will return home in the first plane”. “There will be no special rule for Novak Djokovic”, he insisted.

“The Australian government is sending a message to its people: the athlete, even if it is Djokovic, is a citizen who is subject to the same rules as the others”, observes William Gasparini, sociologist specializing in sports issues at the University of Strasbourg. “The particular health and political context of Melbourne also explains the attitude of the public authorities”, he adds. An exception would probably have been very badly perceived by the population in a city which, with more than 262 days of confinement, holds the world record in the matter.

→ ANALYSIS. Beijing Winter Olympics: athletes anticipate the Games under cover

For the sociologist, vaccination is also a question of ethics: “We consider that high-level athletes, because of what they represent, have a duty to set an example. “ Proof that this exemplarity counts in the eyes of the public, Buffalo Bills player Cole Beasley was booed by his own supporters after publicly expressing his refusal to be vaccinated.

Vaccination pass

Ethical question or not, health measures are being reinforced all over the planet, tightening the noose around recalcitrant athletes. In France, the bill transforming the health pass into a vaccination pass was adopted at first reading on Thursday, January 6. “The obligation to present a vaccination pass is based on the place frequented, recalls Me Gautier Kertudo, lawyer specializing in sports law. Therefore, it applies in the same way to athletes and supporters. “

→ ANALYSIS. Delayed in the Assembly, the law on the vaccine pass continues its path

However, exceptions could exist with regard to certain sporting events. According to The Parisian, a tournament like Roland-Garros could set up a “Strict sanitary bubble” rather than requiring a full immunization schedule from participating athletes. An exemption that would save Novak Djokovic a lot of trouble. For now, the Serbian champion has obtained a suspension of his expulsion from Australian territory. The player should be fixed on his fate on Monday January 10, date of the hearing.



US Open: first title for Medvedev and shattered dream for Djokovic

Things had started rather well for Novak Djokovic, greeted on his arrival on the court, Sunday, September 12, by a standing ovation from a public more used to pampering his two great rivals, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. His statement the day before the match (“I will play this match as if it was the last”) had tickled well, but the tennis planet seemed to be headed in the right direction. With in the stands the Australian Rod Laver, the last champion to have succeeded in 1969 the feat that the Serbian attempted on the New York court, to win the four grand slams in the same calendar year, nothing seemed to happen to him.

→ PORTRAIT. Winner at Roland-Garros, Djokovic on the road to the record

Wasn’t he still on 23 straight wins in the four majors? Had he not corrected his opponent and runner-up in the world rankings, in the final of the last Australian Open with a scathing (7-5, 6-2, 6-2)? And then, how could the Serb miss his chance to finally beat Federer and Nadal in the number of grand slams? The three masters are at 20 each and this New York final was to give him the opportunity to add one more trophy to his table and take a step ahead.

But opposite, the Russian, well advised by his French trainer Gilles Cervara, one of the best on the circuit, did not hear it that way. From the outset, he surprised the Serbian in his first serve game, taking the risk of serving his second ball at the speed of his first. An aggressive strategy also declined in the exchanges, where he never gave Djokovic time to settle in his final, nor to breathe, hitting winning shots with almost every ball.

Djokovic’s tears

Obviously, the young Russian who had let slip two finals against Nadal in New York and Djokovic in Melbourne by showing himself too borrowed and reverent vis-à-vis his prestigious opponents, had learned the lesson. “If I get there, I’ll probably be somewhere in the history books as having been the one who didn’t let him”, he stressed before the match in a statement that should have been listened to with more attention. Implacable, he never loosened either his teeth or the noose, making doubt with each ball a Serbian much more affected by the stake than he had wanted to let appear.

During the final change of sides in the third set, we even saw a few tears streaming down Djoko’s cheeks, which he again struggled to hold back during the speeches after the cup ceremony. Always great lord, the Serb warmly congratulated his opponent. “Congratulations to Daniil for his incredible game. If there is anyone who deserved to win this GrandSlam, it’s you. I wish you more Grand Slam victories and success in the future. “

The new generation begins to assert itself

Message received with a smile by the winner, first representative of what has been called the “nextgen” (next generation) to transform the essay, burning politeness to his two main rivals in this exercise, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. “I’m very sorry for Novak, I can’t imagine what he must be feeling”, kindly let go of the winner after the game. Be reassured, the career of Novak Djokovic, 34, is far from over, unlike that of his two historical competitors Federer and Nadal, victims of repeated injuries and that we feel on the decline. The Serbian remains a solid number 1, winner of three grand slams this season.

But we had the feeling of witnessing a handover on the night of Sunday 12 to Monday 13 September. This historic victory for the 25-year-old Russian allows him to take the lead of a generation that has long awaited the opportunity to finally shake up the Big 3 (Nadal, Federer and Djokovic) which prevented him from growing up. The end of the season and the following one promise to be exciting, because these “little ones” are now playing in the big leagues. Stefanos Tsitsipas took two sets from the Serbian in the Roland Garros final and Alexander Zverev deprived him in Tokyo of another dream he cherished, the Olympic gold medal.


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Djokovic vs Berrettini in Wimbledon final

Novak Djokovic defeated Denis Shapovalov 7-6, 7-5, 7-5 on July 9 to participate in the seventh Wimbledon final.

Djokovic is just one match away from Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s 20 Grand Slam records. In the final match of the tournament, Nole will face seventh seed Matteo Berrettini – the first Italian to reach the Wimbledon final.

Djokovic has 33 winners and only made 15 self-defeating errors. Image: AP

Djokovic hasn’t lost a set since losing his first-round opening set to Jack Draper. In the semi-final against Shapovalov, the Serbian was very close to losing the second set of the tournament. But when he led 5-4 and served at the end of the first set, Shapovalov could not finish the set. The young Canadian player had a chance to finish on the net at 30-30, but missed and lost the game not long after.

In the first set, Djokovic lost the first serve game, and also lost the mini-break first in the tie-break series. But the number one tennis player in the world surpassed his juniors to enter the Grand Slam semi-finals for the first time in concentration and bravery. Nole won all of Shapovalov’s serve points in the tie-break, to win the series 7-3 and close the first set 7-6.

Shapovalov continued to have a chance in the second set, but missed all five break-points. In contrast, Djokovic used the only break-point in the set in game 11, to win 7-5.

“I don’t think the score reflects the game,” Djokovic said after the match. “He took the serve to finish the first set, and was probably the better player for most of the second set. He had a lot of chances in this game.”

Djokovic saved 91% of break-points in the match.  Photo: A

Djokovic saved 91% of break-points in the match. Image: AP

Djokovic saved 10 of 11 break-points faced in this match. At the beginning of the third set, the Serbian continued to hold the game despite Shapovalov having three break points. The ability to stand firm at the crucial moment is the difference between the two players. Shapovalov lost the game at the end of the third set, having missed a crucial point. The Canadian player had no chance to return, because in the next game, Djokovic won white to close the match with a score of 7-6, 7-5, 7-5 after two hours and 45 minutes.

Djokovic won all of his last six semifinals at the All England Club. In the last 17 Grand Slam semi-finals, he won 16. Djokovic, thanks to that, reached the 30th Grand Slam final – an achievement only inferior to Federer (31 times).

Berrettini did not lose a game of service against Hurkacz.  Photo: AP

Berrettini did not lose a serve game against Hurkacz. Image: AP

Djokovic’s final challenge at Wimbledon 2021 is Berrettini – who defeated Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 6-0, 6-7, 6-4 in the semi-finals. Djokovic won in both previous encounters with Berrettini. But, the Italian player is playing the best tennis since the beginning of his career. Berrettini has won all 11 grass court games this season, thereby winning the ATP 500 Queen’s Club title and reaching the Grand Slam final for the first time.

Nhan Dat



Winner at Roland-Garros, Djokovic on the road to the record

Of course, it is first of all a victory against the Greek Stéfanos Tsitsipás who will have to wait a little longer to engrave his name on the trophy of a grand slam. At 22, the young Greek still has time to think about it, especially since this edition of Roland Garros has allowed him to take a step forward: a first final in a major tournament, after a half in 2019 in Melbourne and two in Paris (2020 and 2021).

→ READ. Barbora Krejcikova wins the women’s tournament

But this triumph for Novak Djokovic goes well beyond Tsitsipás. Sunday June 13, on Philippe Chatrier court, the Serbian crossed a door that refused to open to him. He was also aware of having pushed it well, Friday 11 in half against Rafael Nadal. “My biggest match at Roland Garros and one of the three biggest matches of my entire career”, he had declared.

He joins Rod Laver and Roy Emerson

He added a new dimension to his legend by joining Rod Laver and Roy Emerson in the ultra-select club of players from the Open era (after 1968) to have won at least twice each of the four Grand Slam tournaments. Already bigger then, than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, even if he remains eternally behind the charts of the hearts of tennis fans, who have always preferred the grinta (impetuosity) of the Spaniard and the elegance of the Swiss.

Rid of (temporarily?) Rafael Nadal’s tutelage on earth, he can dream of overtaking his two eternal enemies in the big book of tennis. They have 20 grand slams on the clock, he had 18 so far and could not catch up with the Spaniards because of his absolute mastery of Roland Garros. With 19 titles in his wallet now and the acquired ability to get Rafael Nadal out of his Parisian home, he can reasonably dream of the twentieth, at least next at Wimbledon or New York in September.

A game less tiring than that of Nadal

From the height of his 40 years, Roger Federer seems a tone below and he is not sure that the green grass of Wimbledon, his favorite ground, is enough for his happiness. As for Rafael Nadal, he has slowed down lately. His terribly demanding game, more than that of the Serbian, has worn him down and the 35-year-old Mallorcan accumulates small and big injuries. Beware of those who bury him too quickly, but his body remembers too much of him lately for him to hope to play extra time for very long.

The Serb, for his part, is frolicking like a young man despite his 34 springs. He has never experienced major injuries other than mental. And on that side, the machine seems to be set off again at full speed. After his semi-final, Mats Wilander’s commentary in The team must have made him happy. “He’s five years younger!” “, enthused the former Swedish winner of Roland Garros.

Five years, the equivalent of 20 possible grand slams! An eternity in a playing career of this level. Novak Djokovic therefore has plenty of time to exceed the twenty mark. Unless he is caught by the rear, and the pack of young wolves who are getting closer and closer to the old lions. Stefanos Tsitsipás, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and the less young Dominque Thiem will not be told forever.

A Frenchman titled in junior

In the junior tournament, moreover, the 100% tricolor final was won on Saturday by Luca Van Assche, at the expense of Arthur Fils (6-4, 6-2). In doubles, Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert won the fourth grand slam of their careers, the second at Roland Garros after their victory in 2018.