But the top-ranked tennis player will have to make a tough decision between his personal views and his profession
By Nadine Halili | Art by Saii Shah | Source photos by Fusion Medical Animation/Unsplash and Karim Sahib/AFP from Inquirer Sports
World number one Novak Djokovic has expressed worries regarding a potential compulsory coronavirus vaccination, which, according to him, may prevent his return to competitive tennis. The Serbian star recently stated his opposition to vaccinations in a live Facebook chat with other Serbian athletes on Apr. 19.
“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,” Djokovic said. “But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? 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. 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.”
Tennis fans expressed their opinions on social media regarding Djokovic’s statement, with some labeling him an anti-vaxxer.
"Guys I'm an anti-vaxxer!"
Also Novak Djokovic:
"Why don't the fans love me like they love Roger and Rafa?"
— Sid (@HertsSid) April 20, 2020
okay who had 'novak djokovic reveals he's an anti vaxxer' on their 2020 bingo card
— jackson langford (@jacksonlangford) April 20, 2020
Sad to realize one of my greatest idols (@DjokerNole ) puts religion above science… bad example 😔
— Juan Pablo Bianchi (@Jpbianchiz) April 20, 2020
Two-time grand slam champion Amelie Mauresmo tweeted last month about how having no vaccines for the coronavirus will guarantee no tennis tournaments any time soon.
“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,” the two-time Grand Slam winner said in the tweet.
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
Medical experts say that a vaccine may not be ready within the year and will delay the professional tennis circuit further should they push through with a mandatory vaccination for all athletes and personnel involved.
As of writing, all tennis events are suspended until Jul. 13. The 2020 Wimbledon championships have been canceled for the first time since World War II while the French Open was postponed until the end of September, shortly after the US Open.
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