Novak Djokovic clarifies coronavirus vaccine stance after controversial comments

Novak Djokovic sparked controversy earlier this week when he insisted he did not want to be forced into taking a vaccine once one is found. The world No 1 even claimed he could miss events if it became compulsory to be vaccinated.

Tennis events have been cancelled since early March and they will not resume until late July at the very earliest.

It is suggested that tournaments could be played behind closed doors until lockdown restrictions across the world are eased.

But for players to travel to different countries it could be required that they are first vaccinated.

And Djokovic came under fire by suggesting he did not want to be forced into inserting the curse into his body.

“Hypothetically, if the season was to resume in July, August or September, though unlikely, I understand that a vaccine will become a requirement straight after we are out of strict quarantine and there is no vaccine yet,” Djokovic said during a Facebook Live chat with Serbian athletes.

“Personally I am opposed to vaccination and I wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel.

“But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision.

“I have my own thoughts about the matter and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don’t know.”

The 17-time Grand Slam winner has since backtracked and admitted he will give the vaccination a rethink.


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“I have expressed my views because I have the right to and I also feel responsible to highlight certain essential topics that are concerning the tennis world,” he clarified.

“I am no expert, but I do want to have an option to choose what’s best for my body.

“I am keeping an open mind, and I’ll continue to research this topic because it is important and it will affect all of us.”

Meanwhile, former world No 1 Andy Roddick believes Djokovic has opened the door to an interesting debate but insists taking the vaccine would be the safest thing to do.

“The bottom line is … what is safest to bring tennis to the forefront on a global stage,” Roddick told the Tennis Channel.

“And that is going to be with testing, that’s going to be with vaccination that’s going to let us get back to what we know as normal.”

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