Novak Djokovic’s wife Jelena gets into Twitter spat with Racquet Magazine after it called out the unvaccinated 21-time Grand Slam winner for ‘entering tournaments
Tennis star Novak Djokovic’s wife slammed Racquet Magazine for questioning the unvaccinated player’s decision to continue entering tournaments in countries he is barred from traveling to due to Covid-19 regulations.
Djokovic, 35, withdrew from the upcoming hard-court tournament in Montreal Thursday because he is not vaccinated against Covid-19 and is therefore not allowed to enter Canada.
Racquet Magazine responded to the news Djokovic had pulled out of the Montreal Open by tweeting: ‘Dunno why this guy keeps entering tournaments hoping they’ll change their rules for him.’
His wife, Jelena, 36, was quick to come to his defense as she took aim at the publication as she quote tweeted: ‘Is this a real, international tennis magazine?! Wow.’
She also tagged the ATP Tour and one of their publicists, Nicola Arzani, along with a series of emojis displaying bewilderment and embarrassment.
The magazine responded, claiming they would ‘love’ to see the Serbian play in New York at the US Open later this month.
‘Hi Jelena! We’d love to see your husband play in New York, along with the rest of the tennis world,’ it posted. ‘Hopefully he’ll decide he can follow the rules.’
Tennis star Novak Djokovic’s wife, Jelena (left) came to the tennis star’s defense on Twitter
The Wimbledon champion will not be able to compete in the US Open as things currently stand
Jelena was quick to hit back with the specifics, questioning the logic behind the original tweet.
‘Hi! Based on tennis rules and ranking – Novak’s entry in the tournament was automatic,’ she said. ‘So, what was the logic behind your tweet?’
Racquet replied by insisting Djokovic should withdraw from all the events he cannot play due to his unvaccinated status now rather than wait until the last minute.
Jelena was quick to hit back with the specifics, questioning the logic behind the original tweet
It wrote: ‘As of right now, he’s also automatically entered into Cincy and the USO—is he gonna withdraw from them now knowing he doesn’t want to follow rules or wait until the last minute like he’s just done for Montreal?
‘Or maybe after the draw is made like he did in Indian Wells?
‘Not trying to disrupt your Friday night, but since you came our way, it’d be great to get him to take his stand by withdrawing from those events now so the whole tennis world isn’t talking about him not getting a shot for weeks to come.
Djokovic’s wife continued the spat as she argued that the publication should take a stand itself and stick to writing about tennis.
‘His most important stand is to be a tennis champion,’ she said. ‘And he took it. I mean, a stand is a stand.
‘Given that you are a tennis magazine- maybe focus on that in the weeks to come? Take a stand. Be what you are meant to be. A tennis magazine that writes about tennis.’
Djokovic has said he won’t get the shots, even if that means he can’t go to certain tournaments. He missed the Australian Open in January after being deported from that country and needed to sit out two events in the United States earlier this year.
Unvaccinated foreign citizens can’t go to Canada or the US, so Djokovic pulled out of Montreal a day before the draw is scheduled to take place for the tournament and is expected to have to sit out the US Open, which starts in New York on August 29.
However, the 21-time Grand Slam winner said on social media earlier this week that he remains hopeful he will be allowed in the tournament and will be ready to go should he get the OK.
‘I am preparing as if I will be allowed to compete, while I await to hear if there is any room for me to travel to US,’ Djokovic wrote. ‘Fingers crossed!’
He proved he was preparing a he posted a video to his Instagram of him practicing.
It is not the first time Jelena has been embroiled in an online slanging match as she was previously involved in a debate after prominent tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg called her husband an ‘anti-vax poster boy.’
After Djokovic’s win in the Wimbledon men’s final, Rothenberg asked him whether he would get vaccinated soon in order to compete in the US Open in August.
‘You do still have time to get vaccinated before New York to make it in time for the US. Is that something you’ve completely closed your mind to as an option going forward?’ asked Rothenberg in the post-match press conference.
Djokovic’s reply was strong and succinct: ‘Yes.’
Rothenberg then took to Twitter to label the star Serb an ‘anti-vax poster boy’ who has played in his last Grand Slam for the year, unless there is a ‘swift change in US immigration law’.
Jelena didn’t take too kindly Rothenberg’s description of her husband and kicked off the very public online spat by taking issue with the description.