novak djokovic misses out on australian open over covid rules

unfortunately for tennis fans, the biggest story leading up to (in anticipation of) the australian open this year was the uncertainty over whether or not world #1 and defending champion novak djokovic would be allowed to play.  djokovic hasn’t been vaccinated against covid-19 and though he entered the country the final decision was to reject his request for an exemption to australian vaccination law.

novak djokovic holding a hand in the air looks like he is questioning a call by the judge vocabulariio en inglés

novak djokovic (william west afp)

 agence france-presse reported that on january 15, two days before the start of the tournament…

authorities ripped up [djokovic’s] visa for a second time and declared the unvaccinated tennis superstar a threat to the public.

rip up means destroy by tearing into little pieces. it is probably not literal in this instance. a threat is potential danger.

australian authorities ripped up djokovic’s visa. twice!  (GIPHY)

australian immigration minister alex hawke defended his government’s decision, claiming (saying but not showing it’s true) that djokovic’s presence in the country

could “foster anti-vaccination sentiment” and even spark an “increase in civil unrest”

spark means cause. even emphasizes the impact djokovic’s presence might have on the public in australia. foster means promote, encourage. the band foster the people has their name because the lead singer’s name is mark foster but also because it sounds like they have a supportive attitude for their fans and folks in general…

on julien pretot and shrivathsa sridhar explain that djokovic…

risks being frozen out of tennis as he chases a record 21st grand slam title, with rules on travellers who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 tightening in the third year of the pandemic and some tournaments reconsidering exemptions.

 grand slam events are the four most important professional tennis tournaments: the australian open, roland garros (the french open), wimbledon and the u.s. open. tighten means get stricterchase means aggressively pursue. freeze out means aggressively exclude. the noun equivalent is freeze-out. this song is about how bruce springsteen‘s e-street band came together. springsteen says even he doesn’t really know what freeze-out means in this context, but tenth avenue freeze-out was the song they opened with when they played the halftime show for super bowl xliii 

djokovic may also miss out on (not be able to participate in) other grand slam tournaments this year. pretot and sridhara explain that

currently, unvaccinated people can enter england but must isolate for 10 days.

currently (NOT actually–similar to actualmente in spanish) is the correct word to express at the moment. must,  a modal auxilary verb, implies that the isolation is mandatory.

novak djokovic making a shocked, angry face vocabulario en inglés

djokovic could miss out on more grand slam events because he isn’t vaccinated (getty)

so it djokovic could play wimbledon the united states and france have tougher (stricter) rules though. to enter the u.s….

foreign air travellers have had to be fully vaccinated since november and provide proof before boarding flights

since means from that time until now. have had is present perfect and refers to the period between november and now and implies that vaccinations are still required at present. fully is completely. boarding is in the ing form, not the simple form board, because it is used immediately after the preposition before. proof is evidence. it is used in the title of this mary j. blige song from the movie the help

the help movie poster

this lyric appears three times in the song, the first time at 1:20

u can’t deny the truth, cuz i’m the living proof

similarly, the french sports ministry must enforce a new law…

which requires people to have vaccination certificates to enter public places such as restaurants, cafes and cinemas. this will apply to everyone who is a spectator or a professional sportsperson. and this until further notice.

such as is used to present examples.  until further notice means follow this policy until there is an announcement terminating it. in the u.s., cinemas are usually called movie theaters, like in the title of this article from

61% Of Americans Didn’t Go To A Movie Theater Last Year

an empty movie theater vocabulario en inglés

an empty movie theater (getty)

how does this affecet djokovic’s chances of playing the french open? the french sports ministry made these comments about applying the new law to the french open…

as far as roland garros is concerned, it’s in may. the situation may change between now and then and we hope it’ll be more favourable. so we’ll see but clearly there’s no exemption.

as far as…concerned is to refer to how the law will affect roland garros this year. the modal auxiliary verb may means maybe, possibly. don’t confuse it with the month of may, which is when the tournament will be played.  it’ll is the contraction of it will. favourable is spelled favorable in the u.s.

novak djokovic with his trophy for winning roland garros in 2016

novak djokovic won roland garros in 2016 and 2021 (

and looking ahead to next year’s australian open, the reuters article says…

under australian law, djokovic cannot get another visa for three years – denying him the chance to add to his nine titles at [the australian open] – but the government has left the door open for a possible return next year

deny means reject, not allow. leave the door open means there is a chance.

masked novak in a car vocabulario en inglés

though djokovic’s visa was denied, the australian government left the door open for him to return next year (epa)

in the end, djokovic took an L (lost), but he showed grace in defeat (accepted it courteously) by releasing this statement…

i am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love

uncomfortable is pronounced un-CUMF-tur-bull. listen to the pronunciation here. has been is another example of present perfect. it indicates that djokovic’s visa problems were still in the news when he made the statement.

angry novak djokovic

djokovic showed grace in defeat. kinda–there are reports that he is considering suing the australian government  over the ordeal 🙀 

the english practice extra video for this post contains examples of the following vocabulary/structures, many of which have various other examples on  tag questions, even, pay attention, per se, 3rd conditional, fucking, asshole, pick, manners, wrap up, threat, either, granted, hold interest, big pharma, slick, figure out, ain’t.

finally, notice how…

  • viruses (the plural of virus) is pronounced at 1:09   👉🏽VY-russ-uz
  • desperate is pronounced at 1:29  👉🏽DESS-prut

what do u think? should novak djokovic have been allowed to play in the australian open? does it matter that he’s the top male tennis player in the world? share your opinion under leave a reply


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