The number one in world tennis was deported from Australia losing the opportunity to win one more trophy and a large sum of money. How much will it cost Novak Djokovic not to get vaccinated?
LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez
The controversy between the Government of Australia and the Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic lasted ten days. On January 6, he entered the oceanic country in search of defending his title at the Australian Open. The number one in the world could not win his legal battle and remain in the southern country.
Finally, on January 16, three judges of the Federal Court of Australia considered that the reasons dictated by Djokovic to remain in the country were not valid. For this reason, in a controversial decision, the authorities chose to cancel the Serb's visa and deport him. The ruling was carried out quickly and 'Nole' arrived in Serbia on January 17, amid a sea of criticism on the one hand and messages of support on the other.
"Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic and they rightly expect the outcome of those sacrifices to be protected," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told local media, applauding the court decision. For their part, Novak's relatives assured, through a press release, that "despite the scandalous behavior with Novak, we believed that the sport would win."
How much money does he lose by not participating in the Australian Open?
Of course, in addition to losing the chance to overtake Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the greatest Grand Slam champion in tennis history (all three have 20 titles), with his deportation to Serbia, Djokovic also lost the chance to pocket a large sum of money.
In the best-case scenario, the Serbian could have won a prize of $3,149,322 if he had won the tournament. However, other scenes that are not “so good”, but that are still important, would have earned him $1,574,661 (if he reached the final); $787,331 (if he was a semifinalist), or $429,453 (if he was eliminated in the quarterfinals).
Other possible losses
However, the Australian Open is not the only competition that Djokovic had in his sights for this year, although it is most likely that some or several of these will say "no" to the tennis player's participation due to his rejection of the vaccine against the new coronavirus. This, of course, would lead to more economic losses, or at least the option of being able to get their juicy prizes.
In fact, another of the Grand Slams has already said that it will not allow the number one in the world to appear on its courts if it is not immunized against COVID-19: Roland Garros. The Government of France, as well as the organizers of the French tournament, the most important that takes place on clay, reported on January 17 that Djokovic's participation would not be possible in 2022.
"It will be mandatory to enter the spaces already subjected to health passport (stadiums, theaters or halls) for all spectators, practitioners, professionals, French or foreign”, said Roxana Maracineanu, Minister of Sports of France.
Thus, in the event that the tennis player continues under the same cloak of 'no vaccination' for May 22, when the Roland Garros will start, a profit of almost 1,600,000 dollars could be lost in case of being crowned champion of the tournament; $856,237 to be runner-up or $428,118 to reach the semi-finals. This, if we take into account the awards for last year. In 2022 there could be considerable increases when they are made public in the coming weeks.
Along with these, Djokovic could also miss some Masters 1000 like the Indian Wells or the Miami Open, in the United States, which will take place between the beginning of March and the beginning of April; or even the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (Monaco) or the Mutua Madrid Open (Spain), which will take place on the Old Continent between April 10 and May 9.
However, a small door opens since the Serbian has a residence in Monaco, so he could benefit from playing the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters or even the Roland Garros if there is an agreement between both countries (Monaco and France).
Likewise, for that time the health requirements could be less harsh on athletes, and Djokovic may be able to participate in some of them, even without having a vaccination schedule. But this would represent a risk that the Serbian would have to take and bet that, with the arrival of spring, the laws will relax.
What about his sponsors?
Like most elite athletes, 'Nole' not only receives money for what he obtains in his competitions but also for the different sponsors who have his image to make good publicity for their respective brands. In fact, in almost every case, whatever the sport, these sponsorships end up outweighing the profits made from winning a tournament.
According to a list made by Forbes magazine, Djokovic managed to raise some 30 million dollars from his sponsors in 2021, a figure that by 2022 could be at risk if he does not participate in many tournaments or star in more political and cultural scandals in the world.
The first to report to him was Lacoste, the crocodile clothing brand that has been in charge of the tennis player's sportswear since 2017, which assured that "as soon as possible we will contact Novak Djokovic to review the events that have marked his presence in Australia".
As could be seen in his press release, Lacoste is not very happy with 'Nole''s attitude, stressing that the Australian Government's decision is consistent with its anti-COVID policies and highlighted the fact that the organizers of the Australian Open decided to "ensure its celebration in good conditions for the players, coaching staff and spectators."
On the other hand, the Hublot watch brand indicated that “Novak Djokovic is independent. We cannot comment on their decisions” and respected the position of his sponsor. "Hublot will continue its sponsorship with the number one in tennis," added a spokeswoman for this company in conversation with the AFP news agency.
Faced with this situation, will Djokovic analyze the conditions again and get vaccinated against COVID-19?