Novak Djokovic has spoken of his personal views on vaccinations, and has said he would be opposed to being forced to take any in order to return to competitive tennis.
The Serbian star, who won his seventeenth Grand Slam title in clinching the Australian Open in January, was passionate in his views on the matter over the weekend.
The world number one player was speaking on a live Facebook chat with several fellow Serbian athletes yesterday. He said he has his own personal opinions and will have a moral dilemma should players need vaccinations before returning after the Covid-19 pandemic.
“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.
— TENNIS (@Tennis) March 31, 2020
"I have my own thoughts about the matter and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don’t know.
“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.”
Just last month Amelie Mauresmo, a former women's world number one and two-time Grand Slam champion, spoke in strong defence of players having to get vaccinations before any return.
“International circuit = players of all nationalities plus management, spectators and people from the 4 corners of the world who bring these events to life. No vaccine = no tennis."
Je crois qu’on va devoir tirer un trait sur la saison 2020 de tennis. Circuit international = des joueurs et joueuses de toutes nationalités plus les encadrements, spectateurs et les personnes venant des 4 coins du monde qui font vivre ces événements.
Pas de vaccin=pas de tennis
— AmelieMauresmo (@AmeMauresmo) March 31, 2020
Tennis, like all other sports, has seen cancellations of major events amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
At the beginning of this month it was announced Wimbledon was off, with the All-England Club releasing a statement at the time.
"Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life."