Joe Biden urged to remove barriers to Novak Djokovic entering the United States
July 15, 2022
US President Joe Biden has been asked to allow Novak Djokovic to enter the United States for the US Open. Djokovic is currently facing the prospect of missing not only the US Open but the ATP 1000 events in Toronto and Mason.
The sticking point for Djokovic is his refusal to be vaccinated or on the flip side, the United States’ mandate that all visitors to the country arriving by air, must be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. “Non-citizen, non-immigrant air travellers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status prior to boarding an aeroplane to fly to the U.S.,” a recent statement issued by the White House said.
Djokovic has confirmed that he remains committed to not being vaccinated, and will require some form of exemption or a turnaround in the mandate. “I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated,” Djokovic said. “So the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter [the] United States or exemption. I don’t know. I don’t think exemption is realistically possible. If that is [a] possibility, I don’t know what exemption would be about. I don’t know. I don’t have much answers there.”
Given his experience in Australia, when he was detained in questionable conditions, Djokovic is unlikely to attempt to enter the United States without clear assurances that he won’t meet a similar fate. Djokovic has teased that he might be at the US Open after all, suggesting to Nick Kyrgios that he will make good on his promises of a post-Wimbledon dinner in New York. Leading the latest calls for Joe Biden to act on what is a threat to the integrity of the US Open as the fourth Grand Slam of the year is Texas Senator Drew Springer.
“Biden is banning Novak Djokovic from coming to USA to play the US Open but allows millions of unvaccinated illegals to flood across the border,” the senator wrote on Twitter. “Hey Joe, what’s one more unvaxed person?!?! #LetNovakPlay #txlege #USOpen.”
Nick Kyrgios and Matchpoint Tennis Championships are a branding mismatch
July 15, 2022
The most interesting thing about Matchpoint: Tennis Championships is the choice of Nick Kyrgios as the cover star for the game. Matchpoint is a perfectly serviceable tennis simulator, but it lacks the life and character that makes Kyrgios stand out on tour. Outside of the big three, nobody in men’s tennis generates the level of interest that Kyrgios does and he may soon outstrip the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in terms of internet searches.
The Wimbledon finalist would have no real reason to say not to a company that wanted to pay him to put his face on their game. Available to play on Game Pass from day one, it would be a huge surprise if this game moves many units either digitally or in the shrinking hard copy market.
Matchpoint is an alright game, with an easy-to-pick-up control system, but after a period of bedding in the challenge of the game fades and there is little satisfaction to be gleaned from grinding through the monotonous career mode. While most of the tournaments included in the game have real-life counterparts, they are all unlicensed, and there is little sense of wonder involved in this game which is a shame as it represents the first major tennis simulator release available on the latest generation of consoles. There is no benefit to playing the game on an Xbox Series X or S over the previous generation of console.
The size of the game file is an immediate warning that this game is, in its current form, exceedingly basic. Player customisation options are minimal and also do not featured any licensed or recognisable tennis brands. Sadly Matchpoint doesn’t test the capabilities of top gaming systems as a simulator and isn’t as fun as more arcade-style tennis games.
The monotony of the career mode might send you into a Nick Kyrgios-style meltdown, and you might want to take an indefinite break from the game to recover. If you want to play a tennis simulator with absolutely no frills or personality, then Matchpoint is for you. If you are looking for a tennis simulator worthy of Kyrgios you will be disappointed. The creators have missed opportunities to make use of the uniqueness of Kyrgios to add elements similar to the ‘Tiger mode’ which helped the Tiger Woods game franchise revitalise golf simulators.