Novak Djokovic has been told he made a “fatal mistake” by failing to get vaccinated as the Serb was slammed by former pro Ion Tiriac, who told the 20-time Major champion he would never be like Rafael Nadal or John McEnroe. The world No 3 has already been forced out of several tournaments this year due to his unvaccinated status.
Djokovic found himself on the receiving end of a brutal putdown at the hands of former pro and Madrid Open owner Tiriac. The Romanian warned the world No 3 that his failure to get vaccinated had also cost him his reputation as well as several tournaments, as he was deported from Melbourne on the eve of the Australian Open at the start of the season, causing controversy and losing him 2,000 ranking points.
“I think that Djokovic has made a fatal mistake, fatal with the issue of the vaccine. Fatal,” Tiriac told claytenis. “Because of his image and all that, a shame, because he is a sensational player.” The 35-year-old was also told that he could not be a “personality” in tennis because he lacked “charisma” as the former player-turned-businessman continued to rip into the Serb.
He continued: “He wants to be a personality, but he does not have the charisma of Nastase, of McEnroe. So it’s a little more difficult.”
Despite his scathing assessment of the 87-time title winner’s personality, the 83-year-old still admired Djokovic’s ability as a player though thought Nadal was superior.