Novak Djokovic willing to skip French Open and Wimbledon for his position on vaccine, tells BBC in camera interview

Djokovic was embroiled in controversy earlier this year after attempting to enter Australia without a valid vaccination exemption. The 20-time Grand Slam champion was subsequently expelled, missing out on the opportunity to play in the Australian Open.
Before The first grand slam of the tennis season with which Djokovic has been linked Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer with 20 single Grand Slam titles. With Djokovic absent, Nadal won the Australian Open, giving him 21 major singles titles, the most of all time in men’s tennis.

Djokovic told the BBC, which labeled the interview as an exclusive with the 34-year-old Serb, that he had not received any vaccinations for Covid-19.

“I have never been against vaccination,” Djokovic told the BBC. “I understand that globally, everyone is trying to make a great effort to manage this virus and hopefully see an end to this virus soon.”

Djokovic said in the BBC interview that he understands the consequences of his decision not to get vaccinated, explaining that: “I understand that being not vaccinated today I cannot travel to most of the tournaments at this time.”

“And is this a price you are willing to pay?” BBC media editor Amol Rajan asked Djokovic.

“This is the price I am willing to pay,” Djokovic replied.

Rajan then asked Djokovic: “Ultimately, are you ready to give up the chance to be the greatest player ever to hold a racket statistically because you feel so strong for this jab?”

“Yes,” said Djokovic. “I do.”

When asked why, Djokovic replied, “Because the principles of decision making about my body are more important than any title or anything else. I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as possible.”

CNN reached out to tournament organizers for the French Open and Wimbledon for comment.

Djokovic leaves the Park Hotel while in immigration detention to reunite with his legal team after his visa to play the Australian Open was canceled a second time, in Melbourne, Australia on January 16, 2022.

Australian Open Saga

Djokovic landed in Melbourne on January 5, only to be placed in temporary detention with his visa canceled because he did not have a valid medical exemption for compulsory vaccination for all arrivals.

Djokovic’s team said the 34-year-old tennis star felt like he could enter the country because he received a medical exemption from the tournament organizers, which he was granted on the basis that he had natural immunity after being been infected with Covid- 19 Dec.

Under Australian law, medical exemptions are only granted to people who can demonstrate that they have undergone anaphylaxis after a previous dose, or any component of a vaccine, or who are significantly immunocompromised. Djovokic did not fit into either category.

The following week, a judge overturned the government’s decision to cancel his visa and ordered his release, allowing Djokovic to resume training for the Australian Open.

A man takes a selfie with Djokovic as he arrives at Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade, Serbia.

However, in another twist just days before the tournament began, Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke chose to cancel Djokovic’s visa again and the player was sent back to detention.

Hawke said Djokovic posed a risk to health and public order and could encourage anti-vax protests, which could help spread Covid-19.

During the two-week period that all of this unfolded, both supporters and critics of Djokovic took to the streets of Melbourne, some protesting that his release mocked the sacrifices Australians made to contain Covid. others arguing that he had the right to compete.

Djokovic’s legal challenge failed for the second time, with three Federal Court justices unanimously dismissing his claim, saying Hawke’s argument was not irrational. Djokovic left the country soon after.

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