In Instagram statement, Novak Djokovic says that he found out his positive PCR test after he went to the children’s award event but *before* he did a photoshoot and interview with L’Equipe.
Djokovic also added a bit on his Australian Travel Declaration misstatement, calling it a “human error and certainly not deliberate.”
L’Equipe has published an article on its interactions with Djokovic in Belgrade in December, when, according to Djokovic, he knew he was positive for coronavirus but they did not.

The article is in French and paywalled, but I will share some below:…
L’Equipe was interviewing Djokovic as it awarded him its “Champion of Champions” award for 2022.

L’Equipe asked at one point during the 33-min interview to take photos of the interview itself, and if Djokovic would briefly take off his mask for those pictures. Djokovic declined.
L’Equipe says Djokovic posed and screamed during the maskless trophy photoshoot.

L’Equipe also admits the interview came with precondition instructions: no questions about vaccination or his intentions regarding the next Australian Open.

“Very sensitive topic,” L’Equipe said.
The L’Equipe journalist, Franck Ramella, also said that he himself tested negative this week before flying to Australia.
^this award was for 2021, of course.

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More from @BenRothenberg

11 Jan
Visit from the trainer on the first changeover of Bernard Tomic's match. He's taking his pulse before serving down break point. #AusOpen
^Tomic was taking his own pulse before serving, to be clear. He got broken.

Tomic was hyping up his return to #AusOpen competition quite a bit on social media, but this is rough going for him against in-form Roman Safiullin.
Not sure if Tomic is blaming his physical difficulties on potential Covid, but he just complained to the umpire during the changeover that #AusOpen is relying on rapid antigen tests rather than PCR tests.

Tomic trails Safiullin 1-6, 1-2.
Read 6 tweets
9 Jan
The Djokovic deportation appeal hearing is underway. I've gotten an (audio) pipeline in, but technical issues persist. Will do my best to keep folks up to date.

Opening arguments now from Djokovic's lawyer, who is focusing on fairness.
The Djokovic deportation appeal hearing stream is now working for me; good luck to the rest of you.
"You're going to have to drag yourself back to the last century. I hate acronyms."

"There will be no OINKs(?), nothing of that nature."

Folks, we've got a crotchety judge.
Read 27 tweets
8 Jan
A question lingering: if Djokovic was claiming a coronavirus positive in last six months as reason for an exemption, when did he get it?

According to BBC, his lawyers say that Djokovic tested positive very recently, less than a month ago, on December 16.…
December 16 was a busy day for Djokovic:

In addition to purportedly getting a PCR test for Covid that came back positive, Djokovic also was part of a maskless, indoor panel discussion and attended a maskless, indoor ceremony for a stamp being made in his honor on that day. ImageImageImage
A positive test on December 16 would have come too late for the Tennis Australia exemption process deadline as described to players.

According to Tennis Australia documents, the deadline for applying for an exemption had been nearly a week earlier, “no later than” December 10. Image
Read 18 tweets
6 Jan
Had to check out the scene myself at the Park Hotel where Djokovic is being detained and where his supporters have gathered to protest his impending deportation for being unvaccinated. #AusOpen Image
Crucially, the Park Hotel has also been used to detain refugees seeking asylum, some of whom have been imprisoned there for years.
This woman was understandably furious with the smattering of media there for only caring about detainees at the Park Hotel when one of them happens to be a tennis champion. #AusOpen
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep 21
Raducanu was untouchable at #USOpen so far, but this is her first match here (and first career match) against a top-40 foe.

And Bencic is a gold medalist just last month, so not just any top-40 player.

Bencic has put pressure on her right from the jump, instilling some doubt.
Raducanu settled and balling now.

On serve, 4-3*, with eight winners to Bencic's four.

Five straight games for Raducanu, who takes the first 6-3 over Bencic.

Read 4 tweets
7 Jun 21
People find that satisfying? A super-talented young player emerges and plays 2.5 hours of jaw-dropping, world-beating tennis…and then enough time passes for regression to the mean and normal programming resumes, and it’s deflating. Djokovic earns the win, sure, but yawn.
Part of the appeal of sports, I truly believe, is that anything can happen. The any given Sunday principle that sees things like Mickelson winning in his 50s.

In men’s tennis at Slams, the margins are just too big to ever derail the top guys, and it’s cruise control to a fault.
Thankfully for tennis, the ATP and ITF have seen the light here, retiring the obsolete best-of-five format at Olympics, ATP finals, Masters finals, and Davis Cup.

When the best deal Grand Slam tennis can get is Peacock, it’s time for the Slams to see the writing on the wall too.
Read 4 tweets

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