Novak Djokovic, the world’s No. 1 in men’s tennis, caused a stir over the weekend, suggesting that he would have a difficult decision to make if receiving a coronavirus vaccine were made mandatory to participate in the tennis circuit.
“Personally, I am against vaccination and I would not want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine to be able to travel,” said Djokovic in remarks reported and translated on Sunday by Reuters. “But if it becomes mandatory, what will happen? I’m going to have to make a decision. I have my own thoughts on the matter, and if these thoughts will change at some point, I don’t know. ”
Djokovic, the 32-year-old Serbian star who won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, was speaking with a group of Serbian players on a live Facebook chat when he commented. Djokovic remains in Spain with his wife, Jelena, and their two children during the lockdown.
In a statement released Monday through his management team, Djokovic declined to say whether he opposed vaccines in general. He focused his opposition on whether a Covid-19 vaccination, which has not yet been developed, would be required for travel. He also said he intended to explore options other than vaccination, but he did not rule out accepting one if necessary.