Australian player cops online flak for suggesting Novak Djokovic should be allowed to play at US Open

Novak Djokovic enters the arena

John Millman got caught up in a heated social media squabble after he said Novak Djokovic should be allowed to enter the United States to compete at the US Open due to many people flouting the current American coronavirus regulations.

World No 76 Millman was due to take on local wildcard Juan Hernandez Serrano in the first round of the Los Cabos Open in Mexico on Wednesday, but he withdrew after he tested positive for COVID-19.

His positive result came just a few days after he competed in the Atlanta Open in the United States and he took to Twitter to say that 21-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic should be allowed to play in the final Grand Slam of the year at Flushing Meadows.

“I’m out with covid. I was just in the states and it didn’t really feel like too many were following any recommendations or guidelines there,” he wrote. “Which is fine, but therefore I can’t see then why @DjokerNole can’t come and compete.”

Djokovic looks set to miss a second major this season as current American health agency’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regulations state that non-citizens who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are not allowed into the country.

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Despite petitions and calls from high-profile politicians and tennis greats like John McEnroe, it looks unlikely that US President Joe Biden will change his stance.

Millman was challenged as Twitter users pointed out that the different countries have different policies and he replied: “Let me be clear. If everyone in the country was following guidelines then I’m all for them enforcing a vax entry policy. But from what I saw pretty much no one was, the tournament allows non vax citizens to play and only 30% have had a booster..”

The debate escalated and the Australian decided he has had enough.

“Twitter is full of people having all types of opinions on different matters but when an athlete has an opinion on something that is not to do with their sport they are told to “stick to your sport”…” he wrote in his final tweet.