Khachanov supports Djokovic after setting up Dubai encounterfévrier 23, 2022
Novak Djokovic’s second round opponent in Dubai will be world No. 26 Karen Khachanov, who said on Tuesday he respected the Serb’s unwavering position against taking the Covid-19 vaccination.
The Serb’s main rival for the title, second seed Andrey Rublev echoed the sentiment after winning his opening match, saying tennis « needs » Djokovic.
Khachanov came through a two-hour 46-minute duel with Australian Alex de Minaur, 6-3, 6-7 (1/7), 7-5, to book a last-16 meeting with the top-seeded Djokovic.
Because he is unvaccinated, Djokovic will struggle to travel to many countries this season and has said he currently isn’t allowed to enter the United States, where two Masters 1000 tournaments are being held next month in Indian Wells and Miami.
On Monday, Andy Murray said he did not agree with Djokovic’s stance against vaccination but believed « it would be better for tennis if he was playing all of the major events ».
« For sure I agree with Andy. It’s a very delicate situation where it’s basically his (Djokovic’s) decision; he needs to stand with his decisions and I respect that a lot, » Khachanov told AFP on Tuesday.
« Obviously it would be for sure better if he can play a normal season and he can go everywhere but I think he has his team around him, he has his own decisions and he’ll stick to them.