Novak Djokovic's Willing To Sit Out More Majors Over Vaccine Mandates

Novak Djokovic has a message for the world leader coronabros who think they can wear down the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the world who remains unvaccinated after a January battle with the Australian government. In an interview with the BBC, Djokovic told the British news agency that he is willing to sacrifice competing in more majors, including Wimbledon and the French Open.

He's not getting vaccinated - yet.

"Yes, that is the price that I'm willing to pay," Djokovic told the BBC.

The 34-year-old, 20-time Grand Slam winner says he shouldn't be the face of the anti-vax movement because he's not against the vaccine.

"I was never against vaccination," he said during the interview while also confirming that he'd been vaccinated as a child, "but I've always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body."

Djokovic did leave open the possibility he would one day get a COVID vaccination, but that isn't happening right now, even though he's "keeping mind open" to the vaccine "because we are all trying to find collectively, a best possible solution to end Covid".

"I was never against vaccination. I understand that globally, everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing, hopefully, an end soon to this virus."

This stance to miss Wimbledon and the French Open is a big deal in the history of tennis when you consider Djokovic will turn 35 in May and there's a short list of tennis greats who've won at that age.

Roger Federer (3 Grand Slams after his 35th birthday), Rafael Nadal (1) and Ken Rosewall (3 in the 1970s) are the only tennis players to have won titles at that age.

It's also a massive decision to forego Grand Slams at this age when you consider Djokovic (20) is one Grand Slam win behind Nadal (21) on the all-time list.

Why would he give up the chance to pass Nadal as the greatest male tennis champion in the history of the game?

"Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I'm trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can," Djokovic, who won the Australian, French and Wimbledon titles in 2021 in the midst of a global pandemic, told the BBC.


Written by
Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America. Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league. Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.