World number one and defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia has sensationally suggested he could sit out next year’s Australian Open if he is forced to reveal his vaccination status.
The state of Victoria, where the Grand Slam event takes place in Melbourne, has introduced a vaccine mandate for professional athletes, although authorities have not yet clarified what the requirement will be for those coming from abroad.
Last year, Djokovic said in a Facebook chat that he is opposed to vaccination but accepted he might have to decide if it becomes mandatory.
Now, the Nine-time Australian Open champion has implied he is not willing to open on whether he has received a jab and would even give up his title defense alongside his bid for the Grand Slam record rather than reveal his vaccination status.
In April 2020, Djokovic revealed his anti-vax stance in a Facebook chat, saying: ‘Personally I am opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine to be able to travel.
Djokovic’s latest quotes come as the political leader of the state which hosts the season-opening major suggested Tennis players who haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccination are unlikely to get a visa to enter Australia.
Ahead of the Australian Open earlier this year, all players had to quarantine for two weeks and be regularly tested under Australia’s strict regulations on Covid-19 measures.