Tennis: I won't take vaccine, even if it means missing out on Grand Slams, says Djokovic

Djokovic said he was "keeping mind open" about the possibility of being vaccinated in the future. PHOTO: REUTERS

Tennis star Novak Djokovic reiterated his stance against taking a Covid-19 vaccine and said he would rather miss out on winning big tennis tournaments than be forced to take a shot.

These comments were published on Tuesday (Feb 15) in an exclusive interview the Serbian star did with British broadcaster the BBC.

Djokovic, 34, has won 20 Grand Slams and was tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal before last month's Australian Open.

Djokovic was deported from Melbourne after the government cancelled his visa in a row over his vaccine status.

In his absence, Nadal won the tournament to become the first men's player to reach 21 Slams.

When asked if he would sacrifice taking part in other Slams like the French Open and Wimbledon given his unvaccinated status, Djokovic told the BBC in his first major interview after the Australian Open controversy: "Yes, that is the price that I'm willing to pay."

The world No. 1 said he had received vaccines as a child but added: "I was never against vaccination but I've always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.

"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."

He said he was "keeping mind open" about the possibility of being vaccinated in the future, "because we are all trying to find collectively, a best possible solution to end Covid".

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