ONCE again, Novak Djokovic thinks he is above the law.

Djokovic may well be one of the best mens players we have seen, but he still seems to think he should be exempt from the truckles the rest of the world have lived under for the past two or so years.

Remember, Djokovic remains unvaccinated against the deadly Covid-19 virus that has killed millions around the world.

A decision that saw him deported from Australia last year because he lied about his status on his immigration forms.

That decision, labelled bizarrely political, rather than scientific, was overturned earlier this year by a new Australian government eager to overturn almost everything the previous regime had put in place.

But Djokovic remains barred from entering the USA, where a ban on the unvaxxed remains in place until May 11 at the earliest.

The barrier to entry was recently extended by US authorities because of spike in cases over the winter.

Now the world No.1, still unvaxxed and still refusing to accept what happened around the world, has reportedly applied for a special entry exemption in order to play at Indian Wells and the Miami Open.

Younger brother Djordje Djokovic has told Serbian media that Novak has applied for an exemption and that Djokovic family still seem to think they are above the law and that they should be allowed to travel wherever they want.

“Novak has to get a special permit, considering that the USA still does not allow entry to unvaccinated people, which is simply incredible because the whole world is open and sports events around the world are held with vaccinated and unvaccinated athletes,” the younger Djokovic said.

“Novak has submitted all the required documentation and a request, and the directors of the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments have publicly said Novak is needed at those tournaments and that they want him to come.”

Djokovic has been included on the Indian Wells Open entry list even though he is not allowed to enter the country.

“There are only a few days to go before a decision is made and what remains for us to do is hope for a positive outcome,” he said.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US has confirmed that foreign travellers who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 are not allowed to enter the country.

When millions have complied to help suppress and control the deadly virus, when many other ‘ordinary’ citizens have been denied entry, why should Djokovic, who still refuses to be vaccinated – be allowed entry?

Some in the media have accused him, or his family, of playing the victim card.

“Yeah this is what gets me as well… We all want body autonomy and free choice. wrote Jon Wertheim on Twitter.

All visitors to the US are required to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

“It’s his choice not to get vaccinated and accept the consequences. Fine. We should respect that….But then stay out of the victimisation lane.”

Californians endured some of the toughest Covid lockdowns during the height of the pandemic, and to allow one person, no matter who they are, exemption, would be the height of hypocrisy.

Sport is not above the law.

Nick Kyrgios was hoping to team up with Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

THE inability of Djokovic to enter the US will scupper Nick Kyrgios’ dream of playing doubles with the current world No.1.

Kyrgios was hoping got team up with the Serb at Indian Wells next month.

“If Novak is allowed in the USA we are playing doubles at Indian Wells. Y’all ready?”, Kyrgios posted on Instagram recently.

SMASH and grab in Montpelier?

World No. 50 Alexander Bublik thinks so.

Bublik smashed three rackets in the first round of the Open Sud de France on Wednesday, eventually losing to French opponent Gregoire Barrere 4-6, 7-6 (14-12) 6-7 (3-7).

Barrere took the first set 6-4, but Bublik tried to bounce back in the second one. That set went to a tiebreaker and didn’t stop until Bublik came out on top 14-12.

The third tiebreaker, enraged Bublik so much he let fly, smashing a racket five times as the crowd booed.

Broadcaster Sue Thearle then commented that it was good Bublik had other rackets.

Not for long … Bublik walked over to his bench, took out another racket and smashed that as well.

And he wasn’t done yet, picking up a third and hitting it four times.

The 25-year-old grabbed a fourth but that one survived as he went back on the court to finish the match.

STAYING in the south of France, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina admitted he was close to tears after watching his opponent Ugo Humbert suffer a horror fall during their first-round match in Montpellier.

The French wildcard went down at the side of the court during the second set tiebreak after winning the opener and could barely move afterwards, retiring the match when he lost the breaker.

Humbert took the opening set of their match 6-1 as Davidovich Fokina fought back to force a tiebreak in the second set – before the 25-year-old Humbert fell awkwardly chasing down a ball.

Humbert rolled onto the floor and stayed there as Davidovich Fokina rushed over to see if he was OK.

Humbert received treatment and tried to play on but could hardly move, before losing the second set 7-6(2) and retiring.

“I’ve known Ugo since we were kids,” Davidovich Fokina said, before he started to cry.

“I’m going to cry because I was watching him cry. I’ve known him since we were kids, I know him very well and it’s never easy to see a friend like this.

“You know, he just flew on the court and I was like, something’s happened because he was crying and I was like… It’s tough.”

Humbert later said via Instagram that he hadn’t; as was first thought, broken a bone.

Reilly Opelka has not played since Cincinnati last August. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

WHERE is Reilly Opelka? As the new crop of young American men start to show what they are made of on the ATP tour, there is still no sign of Opelka, struggling with injury.

The American hasn’t played since the Cincinnati Masters last August, where he was beaten by Nick Kyrgios and suffered a hip injury.

Good friend Taylor Fritz last week voiced his concerns.

“It’s awful,” Fritz said. “He started last year really strong. He was playing really good tennis. It sucks.

“It could happen to any of us at any time. You never know when you can be out for 8 months. It’s really sad to see.

“He’s one of my best friends. I look forward to seeing him. Haven’t gotten to spend a ton of time with him because he hasn’t been at tournaments.”

There’s hope that Opelka will return before the clay season begins in May.

Younes Rachidi has been banned for life.

A FORMER top 500 doubles player has been banned for life from the game after an investigation by the International Tennis Integrity Agency found him guilty of match fixing.

Younes Rachidi was found guilty of 135 offences – the highest number committed by any player in the history of both the ITIA and its predecessor the TIU.

The 36-year-old Moroccan hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since 2017.

In a statement, the ITIA described Rachidi’s breaches as ‘egregious’ and has also fined him $34,000 in addition to the ban.

Mohammed Hassan has also received a life ban.

Mohamed Hassan was also banned for life and fined $12,000 after being found guilty of 29 offences relating to seven matches between 2016 and 2018.

And Houria Boukholda was been banned for two years and fined $10,000 for 15 offences relating to five matches in 2017 and 2018.

Boukholda’s penalty was less as the investigation found he was heavily influenced by Hassan.

Rafa’s new look for Paris on May.

AND finally….

Rafael Nadal is known for his use of vibrant colours on court and the upcoming French Open will see the Spanish legend shift his colour focus to blue.

Nadal, who has won 14 of his 22 Grand Slam titles at Roland-Garros, will be sporting a sky blue top for the Paris event, which starts on May 28.

Nadal wore a lemon/lime shirt last year, with a green fern pattern on the front.

Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd