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Novak Djokovic’s latest decision angers tennis fans

Sam Goodwin

Novak Djokovic spoke to journalists and fans in Israel. Image: Getty/AAP

Novak Djokovic has had a controversy-plagued year, but it just got worse because tennis lovers are criticizing his decision to play at this week’s Tel Aviv Open In Israel.

The 21-time Grand Slam championor has played an official ATP Tour tournament since winning Wimbledon in July. However, he played in the Laver Cup last weekend at Roger Federer’s farewell event.

Djokovic will return to ATP competition in Tel Aviv this week, where he will play singles matches and doubles alongside Israeli veteran Jonathan Erlich.

Djokovic has teamed up with Elrich to play in the final event of the 45-year-old’s career, having won the only doubles title of his career with the Israeli player at Queen’s Club in 2010.

The Tel Aviv Open has not been on the ATP calendar since 1996.but this year the governing body of men’s tennis brought it back after the cancellation of the tournament tour of China.

Tel Aviv was hosting an ATP event from 1978 to 1981 and then from 1983 to 1996. After a 26-year hiatus, it will return in 2022.

However, Djokovic’s decision to play at the ATP 250 event has sparked an angry reaction from fans due to the humanitarian crisis that exists between Israel and Palestine.

Many believe that Djokovic’s participation conveys a bad image considering the political and religious conflict that is ongoing in the region.

Novak Djokovic's latest decision angers tennis fans

Novak Djokovic speaking to reporters ahead of the Tel Aviv Open in Israel. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the United Nations on Friday that Israel had been engaged in a campaign of land confiscation in the occupied territories and was giving the military “total freedom” to kill or use excessive force against Palestinians. Palestinians.

“That is the truth: they are an apartheid regime,” Abbas said.

Djokovic arrived in Israel on Monday and was immediately showered with criticism by fans.

Many responded to a post by Djokovic on Twitter with videos of violence in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian territories, describing his decision as “disgusting” and “shameful”.

I am one of your most fervent followers since your first steps, I like your spirit and personality, but now everything has changed, you must know that Israel has been established on a mountain of misery and human pain, read the story and you will understand.

Novak, look for a new PR. And fast.

First of all, it is called Palestine. Second, I do not support this tournament. I won’t see it or encourage you. See you at the next event.

Actually, he has no shame.

It is Palestine and it is an occupied and usurped country, don’t you know? We are your fans and we will never be with you in this tournament.

The new furor comes after a controversial year for Djokovic, who was deported from Australia before the first Grand Slam of the year due to their vaccination status.

Also missed the recent US Open due to his refusal to get vaccinated against covid-19, as well as the ATP 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati.

Since then, Djokovic has dropped down the world rankings from No. 1 to No. 7 and is likely desperate to earn some much-needed ranking points.

He lost a staggering 2,000 points despite winning Wimbledon due to ATP and WTA Tour sanctions on the All England Club.

The men’s and women’s bodies made the stunning decision to drop Wimbledon’s ranking points after the All England Club banned players from Russia and Belarus in protest at Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Novak Djokovic’s wrist problem

Meanwhile, Djokovic has revealed that had a wrist problem during the Laver Cup in Londonwhich could be due to his long absence from the Tour.

The 35-year-old, who missed the North American hard court event and the US Open for not getting vaccinated, put on a stunning performance on Saturday as he won both the singles and doubles matches.

However, he lost to Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime on the final day of competition, Sunday.

“I confess that I have been struggling with my right wrist for the last four or five days. I’ve been keeping it under control,” Djokovic told reporters.

“It is likely that the two games yesterday had an influence. Today was not easy. I was not able to serve as quickly or as accurately as I would like. That has affected the whole game.”

Novak Djokovic's latest decision angers tennis fans

Novak Djokovic with Roger Federer at the Laver Cup in London. (Photo by Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Djokovic said his goal remains to qualify for November’s ATP Finals in Turin and that he will play an event in Kazakhstan next week and then the Paris Masters at the end of October.

His win at Wimbledon guarantees him a spot in the Tour finals if he remains ranked in the top 20 in the world.

Djokovic said the wrist problem could be due to a combination of factors.

“It could be because I haven’t played in almost three months and the conditions here make the balls bigger and slower,” he explained.

Video | Djokovic: “I don’t have a number of years in mind to leave tennis

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