Thursday, February 10, 2022

What Other Tennis Records Can Vaccine Mandates Help Destroy?


Why wouldn't Nadal fans be counting the days until he plays at Indian Wells -- another vaccine mandate will definitely boost the Spanish star's chances of evening things up with Djokovic on the Masters 1000 count. (Nadal hasn't beaten the Serb on a hard court in NINE years.) What a sport.

It's nice to see I'm not the only fan disgusted with what's going on. I've followed tennis since I was 12 (1977) and cannot believe what I'm seeing. You can adore Nadal/Fed and still acknowledge what is happening is detrimental to the sport -- and to the history books. Where are reasonable people like Rennae Stubbs, Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver? It's like everyone is too afraid to speak up. 

Follow HERE.

Every other sport has figured out a way to allow unvaccinated athletes to compete. Will the ATP, or is the association happy giving the big three members who didn't challenge its authority in any way a leg up? 


John said...

Kenneth — I tend to agree with you on most things but on this Novak stuff, you’re aligning with the nuts.

If he wants to travel the world and parachute into communities, there is only one responsible course of action, and his refusal to do the right thing has overshadowed his tennis in the minds of many of us.

Huge Novak fan up until this, which is a mistake of a magnitude that I’m embarrassed that I was ever in his corner.

Get the fucking shot or give up tennis.

Jim66 said...

it's really simple. Novak has a choice.

In tennis, he is a god, maybe the chief god.

Outside tennis, there's Covid and there are rules in dealing with Covid. Novak is being selfish and stupid. He's decided that not getting vaxxed is more important to him than winning championships. That's his choice.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

@John and @Jim66: @Jim66: This post is about new information -- that Nadal is playing Indian Wells and Djokovic is on the entry list, albeit for a tournament that seems to require vaccination -- but don't mind re-clarifying two points:

Yes, there are rules. And in Australia / the Australian Open, the rule was that you be vaccinated or get approved for a medical exemption. Djokovic WAS APPROVED for a medical exemption, only to have the rightwing prime minister decide to make an example of him, to score points in the coming election. So as John McEnroe pointed out, he wasn't "playing by his own rules" -- the rules were changed.

Secondly, no other sport requires its athletes to be vaccinated. You don't even have to be vaccinated to compete in the Olympics taking place RIGHT NOW in China, birthplace of SARS-CoV-2. (EVERYONE is parachuting into that community.) So this whole notion that he's a ridiculous outlier -- when there are many famous athletes in other sports who refuse to get vaccinated -- feels like yet another example of his being held to a different standard because people in tennis don't like him. In other words, I just cannot believe if it were Serena Williams or Roger Federer objecting to being forced to be vaccinated that the tennis establishment wouldn't be bending over backward to accommodate them.

And even if you sincerely believe it "all lies" on Djokovic -- even though he got a medical exemption into the AO(!) yet wasn't allowed to compete in his best event -- where is the sadness for the sport, that records are being set/broken under tainted circumstances? I don't hear that because I feel like fans put individual players above the sport as a whole, which is as sad as it is wrong. (See my earlier comments about Navratilova and Williams.)

Jim66 said...

I hear you. FWIW, of the big three, Novak has long been my favorite.

OTOH, I've lost multiple family to Covid, among them my husband's 90 yr old mother, who died alone and afraid while her children couldn't be with her. I can't give quarter on this topic.

As to the AO, I am convinced he caused his own problems by posting about his exemption. It would not have been a story if he hadn't brought it up. He waved a flag in front of the politicians who had no choice but to react.

As for IW and Nadal, I think you're being unfair to him. He's great player but he's clearly unbalanced with so much of his GS success on clay and much less elsewhere. It's not his fault however if Novak doesn't / won't show. If Novak chose to retire right now (independent of the vaccine) would you still be saying other folks' wins are somehow tainted because Novak retired?
The success goes to the last man standing on the court. If for whatever reason you choose not to be there, that shouldn't be held against those that do show up.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

@Jim66: I really don't place asterisks on anything EXCEPT someone showing up at the facility ready to play -- being told he's allowed to -- and then being sent away. I don't think I'm being unfair to Nadal by pointing out his miserable hard-court record against Djokovic, simply stating the facts to help explain why I am so disgruntled. There's no guarantee any of them will ever win another major, so Djokovic needs to strike while the iron is hot and he wasn't allowed to. (How would a Nadal fan feel if he were booted from the French Open the day before it began and Djokovic went on to win it?)

Of course we can argue it was Djokovic's fault and that he shouldn't have posted about it. But that he did put it on Instagram shows how confident he was that Tennis Australia knew what it was doing.

And rather than simply chastising him for not getting vaccinated -- his prerogative, which every other type of athlete in the world is allowed to do -- shouldn't the question be: Why offer exemptions if you're going to renege on them?