In a recent interview with the BBC Djokovic says that; “I was never against vaccination, but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.”
He concedes that his choice to remain unvaccinated could affect his tennis career by not allowing him to compete in tournaments and defend his French Open or Wimbledon titles this year if mandatory vaccinations are required for competitors.
“That is the price that I’m willing to pay,” Djokovic said.
“I say that everybody has the right to choose or act or say or feel whatever is appropriate for them.”
“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.”
It is unknown if Djokovic’s strong stance against being vaccinated for Covid-19 is being influenced by French tennis player, Jeremy Chardy who claims to have suffered a number of health issues since being vaccinated, which he says could even force him into retiring from tennis.
Chardy, who received his Pfizer shot between the Olympics and US open has stated that;
“Since I got my vaccine, I have a problem. I have a lot of problems, as a result, I can’t train. I can’t play,” he told AFP.
Chardy explained that he was afflicted with movement-limiting pain.
“I don’t know what to do,” he said.
“The problem is that we have no hindsight on the vaccine. There are people who had similar (side effects) but the durations (of the issues) were really different.
“In my head, it’s difficult because I don’t know how long it will last. For now, my season is stopped and I don’t know when I’ll start again.”
“I turn 35 in February so for the moment I’m maybe a little bit negative, but this is the first time the idea that next season might be my last has crossed my mind. I’m thinking about it…it’s difficult because I was enjoying myself and I wanted to play longer.”
However, Djokovic also stated that he retains “an open mind” in regards to being vaccinated in the future.
“I was never against vaccination,” he said.
Djokovic also made it clear he has no desire and is not trying to be a ‘hero’ to those that oppose vaccinations.
“I have never said I’m part of that movement,” he said, referring to the protests against vaccination that have occurred all over the world.
“It’s really unfortunate that there has been this kind of misconception and wrong conclusion based upon something that I completely disagree with.”
“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 has won 20 Grand Slam titles in his career and is known for being one of the best athletes of his generation.