Young Canadian tennis player Leylah Fernandez’s post on social media on what she should wear on-court during her Australian Open campaign here has gone viral, with thousands of fans giving her suggestions ranging from donning a “white outfit” to wearing a mask whenever in Novak Djokovic’s proximity.
World No. 1 and defending champion Djokovic’s arrival in Melbourne from Serbia for the opening Grand Slam of the year has created a controversy as he has secured a “medical exemption” from Tennis Australia (TA) to compete in the tournament. The nine-time Australian Open champion has refused to disclose his COVID-19 vaccination status, saying it’s a private matter.
On Wednesday, two day after winning a legal battle in Australian courts, Djokovic was in the midst of another controversy as he reportedly attended a children’s function back home in Belgrade and gave an interview to L’Equipe after testing COVID-positive.
His visa agent also committed an “administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box” and there is a discrepancy on when exactly he tested COVID-positive. While the documents reportedly submitted by Djokovic to the Australian authorities suggest the COVID-19 test was taken on December 26, reports say he was positive before his interview to L’Equipe on December 18.
On Wednesday, when Leylah Fernandez, the US Open finalist in 2021 tweeted that, “I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be training, playing, and living in @lululemon from here on out. What should I wear at the @AustralianOpen?”, the 19-year-old, who lost to Emma Raducanu in the US Open final, got a mix of replies, with some fans asking her to maintain a distance from Djokovic.
“A mask, if you’re going to be anywhere near Djokovic,” suggested a fan, while another tweeted, “Cause he (Djokovic) is the only one in the world who can transmit the virus, right? Thought you came up with a banger, did you?”
On a serious note, a fan suggested that she should wear something which gave her confidence. “Wear what gives you confidence by making you feel empowered as a player or one of Venus Williams outfit line of sports wear,” wrote a fan, while another said, “That white otutfit looks SOO AMAZINGLY GOOD! But probably better for Wimbledon. Maybe a Red one for #AusOpen to complement the blue tone of the court? Congrats Leylah and @lululemon!!”