Men’s tennis ace Novak Djokovic has spoken for the first time since being deported from Australia before the 2022 Australian Open, saying that he would rather miss out on the trophies and wins over being forced to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
"Yes, that is the price that I'm willing to pay," he said.
“I was never against vaccination," in an interview to the BBC, “but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body. 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."
The Serb, who has won a total of 20 Grand Slams so far in his career, said that he was hopeful that tournaments would alter their vaccination requirements. The tennis player also said that he is keeping his mind open in terms of getting the jab in the future, "because we are all trying to find collectively, a best possible solution to end Covid".
"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."
In the interview with the BBC, Djokovic also touched upon the criticism and reactions to the sequence of events ahead of the Australian Open, saying that he takes the situation with COVID seriously.
"I understand that there is a lot of criticism, and I understand that people come out with different theories on how lucky I was or how convenient it is," he said.
"But no-one is lucky and convenient of getting Covid. Millions of people have and are still struggling with Covid around the world. So I take this very seriously, I really don't like someone thinking I've misused something or in my own favour, in order to, you know, get a positive PCR test and eventually go to Australia."
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