Andy Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl is not happy that ‘politics’ surrounding Novak Djokovic’s vaccination status are influencing the greatest male tennis player of all time debate.
Earlier this year, Djokovic was banned from the Australian Open because he was unvaccinated. In his absence, Rafael Nadal increased his Grand Slam tally to 21, before taking it to 22 with his Roland Garros triumph.
While Djokovic reduced the gap by winning Wimbledon, he will also miss the US Open due to his vaccination status.
US government regulations require foreign travelers entering the country to be fully vaccinated. It was previously reported that while the “US Open does not have a vaccination mandate for players, it will respect the US government’s position on the entry of unvaccinated non-US citizens into the country.”
Roger Federer, who was the first to reach 20 Grand Slams in men’s singles, is still bogged down with the same number of absences from the field in recent years.
In a recent interview, former world No. 1 Lendl agreed it could be a tough task for the aging Federer to fight his way back to his best before adding the ‘GOAT’ debate is only finally decided may be when the “Big Three” have retired.
“This story isn’t over yet. It will be over when all three say goodbye. At the moment Roger doesn’t seem to be there anymore because he hasn’t played for a long time and he’s the eldest. It’s fascinating to see and follow, not only for people from the tennis world, but for everyone else, spectators, fans,” Lendl told the Croatian broadcaster Nova TV.
Lendl, who won 10 Grand Slam titles and was the ATP best for 270 weeks, also previously coached world No. 2 Alexander Zverev.
“The only thing I have a little regret about is that the fight is kind of politically influenced at the moment because of the vaccination issue. I just hope that in 20 years we won’t be looking at it through that prism, we won’t be sure who’s the greatest because of politics. If Rafa wins another title, I think he has to answer the question about the vaccination and the fact that Novak couldn’t play. And I don’t think that’s fair,” added Lendl, who finished his career with five Tour Finals titles.
Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon just before his semi-final match due to stomach problems. However, he has returned to training and is expected to feature at the ATP 1000 Masters Canada Open. Interestingly, Nadal, who has won five times in Canada, is looking to match Lendl’s record six Canadian Open titles ahead of the Montreal event, which is set to start on August 8.
Once again, Djokovic is barred from attending Montreal due to Canada’s vaccination regulations.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/andy-murrays-coach-lendl-has-one-regret-involving-nadal-djokovic-federer-heres-what-it-1837457?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution Andy Murray’s coach Lendl has a ‘regret’ involving Nadal, Djokovic, Federer; Here’s what it is