Novak Djokovic savaged over 'selfish' act in $60 million furore

Novak Djokovic (pictured) speaking during an interview after Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) has been called out for not withdrawing from the US Open main draw, which impacts the main draw, after being ineligible to enter the country. (Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic has been called out for not yet withdrawing from the US Open over his ineligibility to enter the country after a qualifier missed out on a chance to play in the grand slam.

Djokovic made worldwide headlines in January when he was deported from Australia after a 10-day battle with the federal government over his eligibility to enter the country.

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The unvaccinated 35-year-old was detained in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open and eventually left the country.

Since then, Djokovic has admitted he would not get vaccinated in order to play tennis.

The World No.6 has missed the majority of the ATP Tour in 2022, but was able to participate at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Djokovic won The Championship to take his grand slam total to 21.

After Djokovic's historic Wimbledon title, the Serbian admitted he had most likely played his last grand slam of 2022.

With the relaxing of guidelines within the US for unvaccinated citizens in August, many still believe the World No.6 should be able to play in New York.

Novak Djokovic (pictured) lost to Daniil Medvedev (pictured right) posing with their trophies at the US Open.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) lost to Daniil Medvedev (pictured right) in the US Open final in 2021. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

However, as it stands, the government won't allow unvaccinated citizens to enter the country.

This has been the rule since November 2021 and the government has given no direct indication it will change before the US Open.

US Open officials also said they would not seek an exemption for Djokovic to enter.

The circumstances surrounding his ineligibility to enter the US has divided the tennis world with players such as Aussie John Millman questioning why he couldn't play.

Novak Djokovic slammed for delay in US Open decision

However, only five days out from the US Open, Djokovic is yet to withdraw from the main draw.

American tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg pointed out since Djokovic hasn't withdrawn, another player hasn't moved up into the automatic spot for the main draw.

Therefore, World No.242 Pol Martin Tiffon missed out on a chance of qualifying, earning money and competing.

Tiffon would have made $21,000 for just making it into qualification, which is nearly the sum total of his yearly earnings in tennis.

Altogether there is $60 million in prize money on offer at the US Open.

When questioned on why Djokovic doesn't have the right to wait till the last second to be granted a visa, Rothenberg pointed out the World No.6 has had plenty of time to make a decision.

"If Djokovic wants to take the selfish route and wait as long as possible to the detriment of others, that’s his prerogative," Rothenberg replied.

"I’m just documenting this because it’s wild to see a star who can’t legally enter the US (because of his own choices) desperately clinging on like this."

Tiffon travelled to New York hoping to play qualifiers.

However, after not being granted a spot, the Spanish World No.242 showed his sense of humour and posted a photo of him watching a Rafa Nadal practice session.

"At least it's useful for something," Tiffon wrote.

Despite criticism, Djokovic also has plenty of support.

US tennis great John McEnroe has been advocating for Djokovic to participate at Flushing Meadows.

The American took aim at the US Government for not allowing the 21-time grand slam champ entry into the country amid a relaxing of the rules in August.

“It’s BS," McEnroe said on Fox Digital.

“I think he should be allowed to play.

“My personal opinion is, I’ve been vaccinated, I’ve had a booster shot. That’s up to the individual.

“He’s won a lot more majors than me because he’s dug his heels in and found that will, that very few people in sport have ever found. That’s part of what made him so great, so he sticks to his guns.”

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