Novak Djokovic has spoken for the first time since his expulsion from Australia and his subsequent withdrawal from the Australian Open. The number 1 in the world gave a long interview to the BBC, in which he firmly reiterated his position regarding the Covid-19 vaccine.
“I am not absolutely against vaccines, so I do not rule out vaccinating myself against the Coronavirus in the future. But I have always advocated freedom of choice. I am trying to be in tune with my body as much as possible.
I'm not a no-vax, but I'd give up on trophies rather than have to get vaccinated. This is the price I am willing to pay ”- declared the 20-time Grand Slam champion. The Serbian star will be back in action in Dubai next week, but there is a big question mark on his calendar.
The 34-year-old from Belgrade will almost certainly miss the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami, for which vaccination is mandatory. To the microphones of 'BBC Radio 4', Tim Henman wanted to express his opinion on Nole's future.
Henman opens up on Djokovic
“By taking himself out of the chance to compete in Grand Slams Novak Djokovic is certainly jeopardizing his chances of being the greatest male player of all time and I think that speaks volumes of his courage, conviction, and belief that this is what is best for him.
You would have thought that very little is going to sway his opinion," said the former World No. 4. “I don’t think so [on whether Djokovic would face any problem playing Wimbledon]. To get into the UK at the moment, those are the guidelines the Championship will be following at this stage.
At this moment in time [rules about participation in the tournament are] going to be government-led," said Henman. In the same interview, Henman reiterated that the decision to take the vaccine is entirely in Djokovic's hands.
“I do understand his concerns. I would reiterate it is absolutely his prerogative to have the vaccine or not. As a former player and a tennis fan, it was probably not what I wanted to hear in that interview, but probably what I expected.
As he freely admitted, he is going to be severely restricted as to where he can travel to and therefore play without being vaccinated," concluded Henman. Nole Djokovic will kick off his 2022 season at the Dubai Tennis Championships next week.