- Djokovic said that he was ‘always pro-freedom-to-choose’ rather than ‘anti-vax’
- The Serbian closed out a highly successful 2023, winning three Grand Slams
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Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has appeared to push back at the suggestion that he is against the Covid-19 vaccine.
Speaking to John McEnroe in an interview for the Omaha Productions show ‘McEnroe’s Places’, the US Open champion claimed that he was not an anti-vaxxer.
This interview was aired just days after he claimed his 24th major championship at Flushing Meadows.
Djokovic said that his issue with the vaccine and the situation surrounding it was less about doubting the shot’s effectiveness, but more about how he perceived it was being forced onto the public.
‘I was never anti-vax,’ Djokovic said. ‘I was always pro-freedom-to-choose. And that’s something that we took really for granted. I didn’t feel like a lot of people had a choice, really.’
The world’s No. 1 tennis player, Novak Djokovic, says that he was never an ‘anti-vaxxer’
Speaking to John McEnroe, Djokovic said that he was ‘always pro-freedom-to-choose’
He added that his bans from major tennis tournaments at the height of Covid vaccine mandates made him feel like a ‘villain of the world’.
‘I just wanted to compete,’ he said, ‘and I wanted to play tennis because that’s what I do best.’
Djokovic was denied entry into multiple countries during the 2022 tennis calendar as he refused to get a vaccine.
That includes in Australia and in the United States around the time of the Australian Open and the US Open.
In the case of the Australian Open, Djokovic felt that because he contracted the virus in proximity to the tournament that he didn’t need a shot. The Australian government disagreed, deporting the tennis star.
After the chaos from the 2022 tennis season, Djokovic has put that behind him in 2023 – reaching the final of all four Grand Slams and winning three of them.
He’s re-claimed his spot at the No. 1 tennis player in the world with his victory over Russian Daniil Medvedev over the weekend – claiming his fourth US Open title.