Djokovic was not 100 percent fit to compete: Ivanisevic on Monte-Carlo loss
The former Wimbledon champion says he respects Djokovic even more for standing by his decision not to get vaccinated
The 34-year-old Djokovic lost his opening match at the Monte-Carlo Masters in three sets to Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Tuesday, in what was only his second tournament of the year. The Serb was unable to defend his Australian Open title in January after being controversially deported from Melbourne and was unable to enter the United States for the Indian Wells-Miami stretch due to his unvaccinated status.
In an interview with Ubitennis, Ivanisevic revealed that the 20-time Grand Slam champion was sick before reaching Monte-Carlo but is confident that he will get better with more matches as the clay court season progresses.
“He wasn’t feeling well before he came here. He was sick. Let’s say he’s not fit 100 percent to compete. First of all in this situation. Three weeks ago he was not allowed to play here because of the Covid decision. Then France opened and he was allowed. And it’s difficult mentally. You can’t prepare the way you would need to. And then he got sick. And, to be honest, I didn’t expect something spectacular from this tournament. But he’ll be going to the French Open in five, six weeks, he’s got a couple more tournaments and he will be ready.”
The Croatian also cited Djokovic’s slow start to the clay court season in 2021 to allay any concerns about the impact of the latest loss. “He only had three matches prior to this tournament. Clay is not easy. Last year he started pretty badly here, he lost to Evans in the second round. Then in Belgrade he lost in the semis. He started to play well in Rome where he got to the final, then he won the French Open. So I’m not worried. He just needs some continuity, he needs to play more and more matches and he’s going to find his way.”
I even love him more for that because he’s standing by what he’s saying: Ivanisevic on Djokovic decision not to get vaccinated
As it currently stands, Djokoivc will be able to play in tournaments in Europe, including Roland-Garros and Wimbledon, but may not be allowed into the United States for the US Open later this year if he remains unvaccinated. Ivanisevic revealed that he has not tried to change Djokovic’s mind about the same and that he respects his charge for standing by his decision.
“It’s his life, his decision. I respect his decision, his family. He said it truly that he’s going to risk his career. I even love him more for that because he’s standing by what he’s saying. He’s the only person in the world who says what he thinks. You know, one day they say one thing, one day they say another. He, from the beginning, is straight and this is why I respect him even more. Hopefully this pandemic is going to stop. Only now he can play all the tournaments. I hope that America will open so he will be able to play the US Open in September. “