John McEnroe lashes out over 'ridiculous' Novak Djokovic situation

Tennis great John McEnroe (pictured right) smiling with Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic (pictured left) on Centre Court.
Tennis great John McEnroe (pictured right) defended Novak Djokovic (pictured left) and called for him to play at the US Open, despite the ban on unvaccinated ravellers into the country. (Getty Images)

Tennis legend John McEnroe has jumped to the defence of Novak Djokovic, with the 21-time grand slam champ not expected to play at the US Open due to his vaccination status.

The controversy surrounding Djokovic's eligibility to compete at the US Open resurfaced after the 35-year-old won his 21st grand slam title and fourth Wimbledon crown in a row on Sunday.

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Djokovic shut down any chance he will get vaccinated to compete in America after fending off questions about his decision in his post-match press conference.

The American border currently remains closed to unvaccinated travellers, which will see Djokovic siting out the US Open as it stands.

Djokovic's vaccination status once again caused debate after his first grand slam triumph since being deported from Australia.

The controversy even saw his wife Jelena enter into a spat with leading tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg.

Following his Wimbledon triumph, American tennis great McEnroe called on his government to allow Djokovic to play at the US Open.

"These politicians are getting in the way too much,” McEnroe said on the broadcast.

"They did it in Australia. Let’s let the guy come in and play in the US I mean, come on.

"This is ridiculous.”

McEnroe's brother Patrick also weighed-in on the drama.

“Whatever you think the government should or should not do, it’s a bummer for tennis,” he said on ESPN.

John McEnroe (pictured) talking during a Wimbledon celebration on Centre Court.
John McEnroe (pictured) has called for Novak Djokovic to play at the US Open, despite rules not allowing him to enter the country. (Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images) (Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic refuses vaccine in US Open debate

Djokovic admitted he wasn't sure what would happen surrounding the US Open.

However, he was immediately looking to take a break from tennis after a whirlwind few months on and off the court.

"It is a weird situation," Djokovic said in his post-match press conference.

"I am on vacation. It has been quite an exhausting and demanding period for me. I got what I wanted here.

"I'll wait hopefully for some good news [a change of policy] from the US. I'm not vaccinated and I'm not planning to get vaccinated. I don't think exemption is realistically possible.

"We'll have to see what the schedule looks like then. I doubt I'll chase points. Things have changed in the last year and a half for me.

"I achieved the historic weeks of being ranked No.1, that I worked for all my life. Now I prioritise slams and big tournaments where I feel good."

Despite winning Wimbledon, Djokovic will drop to World No.7 in the rankings.

Wimbledon was stripped of ranking points after its ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes due to the war in Ukraine.

This means Djokovic wasn't able to defend the 2000 rankings points he earned after winning Wimbledon in 2021.

If Djokovic is unable to play the US Open or the hard court tournaments in America, the 21-time grand slam champion is looking at a further slide in the rankings.

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