- Novak Djokovic said in a Tuesday interview that if coronavirus vaccination is required for him to compete, he is willing to skip the French Open and Wimbledon.
- Djokovic has won the French Open twice, the most recent in 2021, and has six Wimbledon titles, including the last three.
- Vaccination rules in France may change in the months leading up to Roland Garros, allowing Djokovic to compete.
Novak Djokovic said in a Tuesday interview that he is willing to skip the French Open and Wimbledon if coronavirus vaccination is required for him to compete.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion told the BBC that he remains unvaccinated against COVID-19. That status also resulted in his deportation from Australia in January, where he lost his bid to defend his Australian Open title.
The tennis player stated to the BBC that missing the next 2 majors, as well as other tournaments, is “the price that I am ready to pay.”
“I’m aware of the implications of my decision,” Djokovic said. “I understand that because I wasn’t vaccinated today, I won’t be able to attend most of the tournaments right now.”
The 34-year-old Serb stated that he is not anti-vaccination but rather believes in prevention, “the ability to decided what goes into one’s body And that is critical for me.”
“I’m attempting to be as in tune with my body as possible,” he said, adding that he has always been cautious about what he consumes. “I’ve decided not to take the vaccine as of today, based on all of the information I’ve received.”
“That is the price that I am willing to pay,” he said when asked if he would be willing to miss the French Open in May.
When asked if he would be willing to miss Wimbledon, he replied, “Yes.”
“Because my body’s decision-making principles are more important than any title or anything else,” he explained.
Djokovic has won the French Open twice, most recently in 2021, and has six Wimbledon titles, the last three of which he has won.
Djokovic, on the other hand, has distanced himself from anti-vaccination activists. During the Australian saga, some people hailed him as a hero.
“I’ve never said I’m a part of that movement,” Djokovic said, adding that “everyone has the right to choose, act, or say whatever they believe is appropriate for them.”
Within the months leading up to Roland Garros, vaccination rules in France may change, allowing Djokovic to compete. As it recovers from a record surge in infections caused by the highly contagious omicron variant, the Nation has begun to relax some of its health and travel restrictions.
Last week, the French government set a deadline of the end of March or the beginning of April for the possible lifting of its vaccine requirement, which currently prevents unvaccinated players from competing in the French Open.
Anyone who has not been immunized against the coronavirus must show proof of a positive COVID-19 test within the past 4 months (down from the previous six months) to enter sports venues in France starting Tuesday.
The French law, which assumes that you have some immunity if you’ve recently had the virus, aims to keep unvaccinated people out of stadiums, restaurants, bars, and other public places.
Djokovic previously stated that he tested positive for doping in the middle of December. If the four-month rule remains in place, he will certainly be ruled out of the French Open unless he gets immunized or tests positive again within 4 months of the clay-court Grand Slam’s start on May 22.
Source: CTV News