US ban fuels Djokovic’s Wimbledon motivation

LONDON — Defending champion Novak Djokovic says he shall be further motivated to say a fourth successive Wimbledon title because it may very well be his final Grand Slam motion of the yr.

The 35-year-old Serb missed the Australian Open after being deported for not having been vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 and won’t be allowed to compete on the US Open for a similar motive.

These selections have severely impacted Djokovic’s hopes of successful essentially the most Grand Slam titles, with Rafa Nadal now holding the report on 22, in comparison with Djokovic’s 20.

With Australia implementing strict entry standards, it’s doubtless that Wimbledon may very well be Djokovic’s final Grand Slam occasion till subsequent yr’s French Open.

“As of right now I’m not allowed to enter the States below these circumstances. I’m conscious of that. That’s an additional motivation to do nicely right here,” he informed reporters on Saturday.

“Hopefully I can have an excellent event, as I’ve carried out within the final three editions. Then I’ll simply have to attend and see. I might like to go to States.

“However as of right now, that’s not doable.”

Ought to Djokovic retain the title he could be solely the fourth man within the trendy period to win 4 successive Wimbledon crowns.

It will additionally put him degree with Pete Sampras on seven Wimbledon titles, one behind report holder Roger Federer.

“I might like to be ready to struggle for one more trophy,” prime seed Djokovic mentioned.

“Pete Sampras, successful his first Wimbledon, was the primary tennis match I ever noticed on the TV. So, in fact, there’s a whole lot of connection to this event.

“Pete has gained it seven occasions. Hopefully, yeah, I can do the identical this yr.”

Even when Djokovic wins he’ll lose the two,000 rating factors he’s defending from final yr, following the ATP and WTA choice to strip the tournaments of factors within the wake of the ban on gamers from Russia and Belarus. Learn full story

Djokovic was additionally prevented from defending 2,000 factors in Melbourne, however says he’s not overly involved.

“My priorities are completely different now,” he mentioned.

Whereas respecting Wimbledon’s stance, Djokovic mentioned he feels it’s unfair that Russian gamers, together with world primary Daniil Medvedev, aren’t competing on the grasscourt main.

“I perceive each side. It’s actually onerous to say what is correct, what’s incorrect. However in my coronary heart as an athlete, placing myself ready the place somebody would ban me from taking part in due to these circumstances, and I’ve not contributed to that, I wouldn’t suppose that’s truthful,” he mentioned.

“Let me remind you that again within the 90s, from 92 to 96, any athlete from Serbia was not allowed to compete on the worldwide stage in any sport. At the moment I used to be too younger, however I do know athletes that have been competing at the moment.

“I understand how it affected their lives. A lot of them have left their sport as a result of 4 years is a really very long time.” — Reuters


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