Novak Djokovic wears down the best of opponents but the Australian Government is returning shots with all the tirelessness of Rafael Nadal as the vaccination debacle drags on.
By my count, Djokovic - the initial underdog - is well ahead and emerging as an unlikely hero, with Australia looking like bumbling fools.
To that you can add the violations of bullying and bad loser, as that country keeps searching for new ways to throw out the greatest tennis player in history before the Australian Open begins.
Djokovic's major "crime" is his anti-vax leanings; but a highly visible superstar can easily be managed and he has never posed any actual danger to Australia.
It has become a grotesque witch hunt and a ridiculous distraction in a country where Covid is zooming around with abandon.
The way Australia has apparently turned on Djokovic, using him as some sort of scapegoat and distraction for the pandemic disaster, is sickening.
The simple timeline is this:
1) Djokovic believed he could enter the Australian Open and with good reason;
2) Australia - with competing State and Federal systems - appeared to backtrack after his arrival and chucked him in detention.
2) Djokovic won a significant court victory with serious backing from a Judge.
3) Australia refused to accept the decision and let Djokovic get on with trying to win a fourth straight title, choosing to further hound him instead.
Djokovic's entry into Australia allegedly provoked a "public outcry", but this is a modern-day euphemism for the combined effects of commentary out of the traditional media and a bit of angry social media action.
In other words, a few pundits and a remarkably small percentage of punters can quite easily shape government actions if the politicians feel their popularity is at stake.
Yet as the United States elections have proven beyond any doubt, even professional pollsters are unable to properly gauge what the public thinks.
We should all be grateful that someone with the determination and money is prepared to contest these sorts of arbitrary government actions. We actually owe Djokovic some thanks on that score.
Australia's controversial tennis player Nick Krygios has emerged as a hero in this madness, an exception who has tried to fight a rear-guard action in the name of common sense.
'At least treat Djokovic with respect' has been the Kyrgios stance, and he is so right.
In many eyes Djokovic has made some mistakes in relation to Covid, but he's not alone. Many of us have transgressed in one way or other, as strange rules claw at our habits and freedoms.
There are plenty of anti-vaxxers and vaxx-sceptics in the world. My big problem with them is the pressure Covid is putting on the medical world, but those people still have an absolute right to express those opinions.
And in a long list of people who have maybe mishandled the confounding crisis, Djokovic wouldn't even figure.
Novak Djokovic isn't an evil force, not that you would know it right now.
So when Judge Anthony Kelly stated "what more could this man have done" it was time for the Australian attack pack to throw in the towel.
They could have done the decent and sensible thing, said it was a confused situation, and let a great sportsman, one who has done so much for their tennis tournament, get on with entertaining the masses in troubled times.
Instead, there are now predictions which sound like urgings for Djokovic to be booed if he plays - a sure sign that a part of Australia has lost its mind.
It's a free world, and you pay your money and you can boo all you like if that's what floats your boat.
But in pure sporting terms, the credibility of the Australian Open is fragile as a result. An overbearing government may seriously affect the outcome of a Grand Slam event.
Irony of ironies, only a strong Djokovic showing can really save it. Otherwise this Aussie Open will be a Grand Sham.