Novak Djokovic has openly said he would risk missing the chance to become the greatest ever tennis player over his vaccination beliefs.
In an interview with the BBC, Djokovic said he would sacrifice competing in major tournaments like Wimbledon and the French Open if it meant he would need a Covid jab to participate.
“That is the price i’m willing to pay” he said in an interview when asked about missing tournaments over a vaccine.
Djokovic says he is not part of the anti-vax movement, but ‘supports an individuals right to choose’.
“I was never against vaccination, but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.” – he said, as he confirmed he had vaccines as a child.
In regards to potentially missing out on winning the most male titles ever, the 20-time Grand Slam winner said: “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.”
The star is currently ranked number 1 in the world, with rival Rafael Nadal currently ahead in total Grand Slams won with 21 compared to the Serbian’s 20.
Djokovic added that he hopes vaccination criteria can change in tournaments, insisting he wants “play for many more years”.
Despite his beliefs, he said he was “keeping his mind open” to potentially receiving a vaccine in the future.
“We are all trying to find collectively, a best possible solution to end Covid” the star added.
The Serbian was deported from Australia last month when he travelled to compete in the Australian Open, as the government cancelled his visa on “health and good order grounds” – essentially due to his vaccination status.
He accepted the ruling, but stated he was “extremely disappointed” as he left the country.
Immigration minister Alex Hawke was at the core of the decision, claiming Djokovic’s “presence in the country risked fanning anti-vaccine sentiment.”