Patrick McEnroe says Novak Djokovic is now "stuck in the mud" because of his COVID-19 vaccine stance. Last year, Djokovic won the opening three Grand Slams of the season to tie Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the all-time Grand Slam record list with 20 Majors.
Djokovic didn't get a chance to compete at this past Australian Open as he was deported from the country for being unvaccinated. In the absence of Djokovic, Nadal won a record 21st Grand Slam. In an interview with the BBC, Djokovic said he is willing to skip tournaments that require mandatory vaccination.
"Novak Djokovic has been clearly the best tennis player in the world and in my opinion, he is the greatest player I have seen of all time. Well, he is bypassing the opportunity, as he did in Australia, to continue to do what he does," McEnroe said on ESPN's SportsCenter, as quoted on Sportskeeda.
"He spent the last 10 to 15 years chasing down Roger Federer, chasing down Rafael Nadal.
He finally caught them & he was ready to sprint past them. But now he’s stuck in the mud because of this decision to not take the vaccine."
Djokovic sticking to his personal beliefs
Refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine will likely mean the end of Djokovic's chances of securing the all-time Grand Slam record.
However, Djokovic says his personal beliefs and principles are more important than any record. "Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I'm trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can," Djokovic told the BBC.
Also, Djokovic insisted he is not anti-vaxx. "I was never against vaccination. I understand that globally, everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing, hopefully, an end soon to this virus," Djokovic insisted.