Novak Djokovic reacts to his media coverage in February
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Novak Djokovic has been banned from playing in eight lucrative tournaments over the past 14 months due to restrictions preventing those without the Covid-19 vaccination entering certain countries. America is one of the last countries to completely lift restrictions and despite Djokovic applying for a ‘special exemption’ to play in this month’s ‘sunshine double’ the US authorities have stood firm on their rule.
The world No.1 officially withdrew from the Miami Open after ‘trying everything’ to play at the lucrative tournament, after also being denied access to play at last week’s Indian Wells Open. Djokovic has missed eight events in total and would have been favourite to win all of them.
Tennis 365 have now revealed the huge loss of earnings the Serbian has missed due to his anti-vaccination stand. If Djokovic had gone on to win all eight he would have won a staggering £9.35million ($11.39m). The tennis star made headlines for all the wrong reasons at last year’s Australian Open when he was deported on the eve of the tournament and had his visa cancelled twice.
Djokovic blasted the media for ‘ruining his brand’ as the star was denied access to Australia due to not having the Covid-19 vaccine. The Serbian’s suggestion means he may have lost much more than than the £1.58m on offer for winning a Melbourne Park.
Djokovic was also prevented from travelling to American for the ‘sunshine double’ last year missing out on potential first place prizes at Indian Wells (1.01m) and the Miami Open (£1.23m). Despite missing the American tournaments Djokovic was allowed to compete in Europe last season including a quarter-final defeat at the French Open to eventual winner Rafael Nadal.
The Serbian star went on to win Wimbledon for the seventh time in his career collecting the £2m first prize at SW19. However, his non-vaccination status hit again in the second half of the season being banned from competing at the prestigious Canadian Open and Cincinatti Masters events missing out on prize money of £751,548 and £796,483 respectively.
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Djokovic has won the US Open three times but was banned from attending Queens last year and missed out on a £2.13m first prize.
Carlos Alcaraz was one of those players who took advantage of Djokovic absence in America winning his first Grand Slam title and precision ranking points which lifted him to world No.1.
Djokovic was allowed to play in this year’s Australian Open winning the title for the 10th time in his career and accumulating enough ranking points to top the standings again.
However, his absence at this month’s Indian Wells and Miami Masters, where the winners will scoop £1.03m at both tournaments, could see Alcaraz regain the No.1 tag.
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