ESPN’s Chris Fowler, John McEnroe have awkward exchange over Novak Djokovic’s ‘choices’ after Aussie Open win

John McEnroe and Chris Fowler appeared to have a tense discussion on ESPN over Novak Djokovic’s deportation from Australia final calendar year as they recapped the Serbian tennis star’s hottest Grand Slam gain.

Djokovic received the Australian Open on Sunday in straight sets over Stefanos Tsitsipas and attained his 22nd Grand Slam title of his job, tying him with Rafael Nadal for the most all-time between male players.

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Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Tommy Paul of the U.S. in their semifinal at the Australian Open up tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.
(AP Image/Aaron Favila)

As McEnroe and Fowler recapped all that Djokovic experienced gone by in the last two years, there was an uncomfortable exchange around the tennis great’s deportation. Djokovic chose not to be vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus, and controversy over his exempt position led to Australian authorities deporting him past year. A second firestorm was avoided before this thirty day period as Djokovic was ready to enter the country devoid of any troubles.

“… He gets deported out of Australia. Doesn’t get any details at Wimbledon,” McEnroe mentioned. “Can not engage in the [U.S.] Open. …”

Fowler chimed in, “A element of his possibilities, to be honest. He designed choices that led to that for some of these matters.”


John McEnroe, left, and Chris Fowler call a match at the U.S. Open on Sept. 9, 2022, in New York.

John McEnroe, left, and Chris Fowler call a match at the U.S. Open up on Sept. 9, 2022, in New York.
(Jean Catuffe / GC Pictures)

McEnroe responded, “I really do not feel … I consider he should really have been committed to engage in.”

“Okay, very well that’s a discussion,” Fowler reported. “He did make selections that led to that. … But that’s forgot for the minute.”

McEnroe experienced been a supporter of Djokovic getting in a position to enjoy in the prime tennis tournaments irrespective of his vaccination standing. He informed Fox Information Electronic as considerably when speaking about the Serbian star’s status for the 2022 U.S. Open up – which has not improved for 2023.

“Effectively, initially of all, I believe it is BS. Which is what I imagine. I imagine he should really be permitted to perform. My personal impression, as I’ve been vaccinated, I had a booster shot, that’s up to the person,” McEnroe reported in August. “If I had been him, and I’m not him, he’s won a good deal far more majors than me most likely mainly because he’s dug in his heels and located the gear, that will, that pretty couple folks in any sport have at any time observed, so that’s part of what’s created him so terrific, he sticks to his guns. He’s beautifully entitled to make the determination.”

John McEnroe, left, and Chris Fowler call a match at the U.S. Open on Aug. 27, 2018, in New York.

John McEnroe, still left, and Chris Fowler connect with a match at the U.S. Open up on Aug. 27, 2018, in New York.
(Julian Finney / Getty Photos)

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“The guy is 1 of the finest athletes in any activity,” he continued. “He’s pretty careful about something he puts in his entire body. So, it’s disheartening to see at this stage when we’re sitting listed here and all getting a terrific time at an LAFC soccer activity and that he’s not authorized into the state correct now because he’s not vaccinated. It’s definitely unfortunate, but that’s the procedures we actually have right now with the authorities. I do not agree with it but c’est la vie at the moment.”

Francis McGee

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