Novak Djokovic has sparked huge controversy by threatening to miss events if he is forced to take a coronavirus vaccine before being allowed to travel to tournaments.
The tennis season has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as all competitions are cancelled until late July at the very earliest.
There are some serious doubts about whether play will get back underway in the summer as travel restrictions will vary depending on how each country is coping with the killer virus.
It has been suggested that athletes could be made to take a vaccine, once one is created, to ensure they are not dangerous to their host country.
But Djokovic is dead against a mandatory vaccine and he would consider skipping events if that idea was rolled out.
“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.”
Last month, former women’s world No 1 Amelie Mauresmo called on tennis chiefs to only allow tournaments to resume when a vaccine is found.
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“International circuit = players of all nationalities plus management, spectators and people from the four corners of the world who bring these events to life. No vaccine = no tennis,” the two-time Grand Slam winner tweeted.
Some of the lower ranked players have been hit hard by the cancellation of tournaments as they do not have any form of income.
But Djokovic, along with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, have been coming up with ideas to help out.
The world No 1 added: “If we don’t have any events (in 2020), maybe next year’s Australian Open prize money can be contributed to the fund.
“I’m glad the tennis ecosystem is coming together.
“Everyone realises the base of tennis. These guys ranked 250 onwards are the ones making the future of tennis.”
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