“I Keep That to Myself”: Novak Djokovic Doesn’t Want to Be Judged Over Vaccine Stance, Backs Player Freedom

Published 04/23/2021, 5:55 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his second round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


Amid the perceived split in the tennis world on whether to take Covid-19 vaccines, World No.1 Novak Djokovic has stated his position, albeit vaguely.

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The Serb said whatever decision he takes will remain with him and “everyone should respect that”. He added that he wants to be seen as neither for or against in the matter and will, hence, keep the decision to himself.

“Don’t Want the Press to Talk About It”: Novak Djokovic

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Speaking to Punto de Break, Djokovic said, “I will stay to myself whether I get vaccinated or not. I keep that to myself.”

The 18-time Grand Slam champion further said that he doesn’t want to be judged for whichever way he leans with regard to vaccination and everyone should go with that.

“I don’t want the press to talk about what I do or not do. I don’t want people who are for or against to say something about it. I hope my decision is respected,” Djokovic said.

He added that he was happy to note, however, that the players do have a choice in the matter.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his second round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

What is the situation at the ongoing Serbia Open?

Djokovic also revealed a conversation with his brother Djordje, who said “a lot of players” currently competing at the Serbia Open in Belgrade are willing to receive vaccine shots.

“I am delighted that they can choose. From what I hear, my brother told me that a lot of players wanted to get vaccinated here,” the World No.1 said.

He added that while the ATP hasn’t clarified yet on whether it’s an obligation for the players to take vaccine shots, he would gladly endorse a freedom of choice in the matter.

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“The truth is that there is very little clarity about the obligation or not by the ATP when it comes to getting vaccinated. I am one of those who support free decision,” Djokovic said.

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The journalist also apparently spoke to 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, who said the situation at the ongoing Barcelona Open isn’t too encouraging as not many participating players are willing to take the vaccine.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

835 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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