Novak Djokovic’s dilemma: get a vaccine or don’t play tennis
An opposition to vaccinations could force the men’s tennis world No.1 to make a major decision
World No.1 Novak Djokovic has thrown tennis into further turmoil by saying his return could be compromised by his opposition to vaccinations.
Like the rest of sport, tennis is in lockdown limbo on account of the coronavirus crisis.
Wimbledon has already been cancelled, the French Open has been rescheduled to September and the US Open in New York is also uncertain.
The Guardian reports that last month the former women’s No.1 Amelie Mauresmo declared that tennis shouldn’t resume until a vaccine for coronavirus is found - although that might not happen until well into 2021.
Currently, the sport’s governing bodies have suspended all tournaments until 13 July.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Now, to further complicate the issue, 17-time grand slam champion Djokovic has said he wouldn’t be comfortable with a vaccine.
“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,” he said in a live Facebook chat with other Serbian athletes.
“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.”
Asked what he would do if it came to a straight choice between getting a vaccination and not resuming his career, the Serbian star replied: “I will have to make a decision. I have my own thoughts about the matter and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don’t know.”