Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Sporting ExcitementSporting Excitement

Tennis

Novak Djokovic may be banned from Australian Open and going for record-breaking 21st Grand Slam due to anti-vaxx stance

NOVAK DJOKOVIC could be banned from going for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam – because of his anti-vaccination stance.

The Serb star, 34, has made his feelings about the coronavirus jab clear.

A tenth Australian Open singles title in January would move Novak Djokovic on to 21 Grand Slams

He is refusing to get the vaccine – even if that means being forced to miss tennis tournaments that require players to be protected.

And with Australia remaining tough on their Covid-19 restrictions, talks are ongoing between Victoria’s Government and Tennis Australia officials regarding acceptance into January’s Grand Slam.

According to The Age, ‘it is probable a separate vaccine mandate will be required for tennis stars to play in Melbourne’.

That would rule Djokovic out of his favourite tournament, where he has won nine of his 20 Majors of a glistening career.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The world No1 and three-time defending champion would be the favourite to reign supreme Down Under again in the New Year.

And victory would see him overtake Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on to 21 Grand Slams.

 

JOIN SUN VEGAS: GET A FREE £10 BONUS WITH 100s OF GAMES TO PLAY AND NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED (Ts&Cs apply)

Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley was concerned forcing players to be fully vaccinated to compete would have a detrimental impact on the tournament.

But a source told the Melbourne newspaper: “Tiley said we won’t get star players and the state government effectively said ‘suck it up’. They capitulated.”

Djokovic’s former coaching staff member Craig O’Shannessy said: “It’s Novak’s decision if he wants to get vaccinated. It’s his choice to participate in the Open if there is a mandate.

“[A mandate is] the right move on many layers.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Djokovic was at the centre of a Covid storm early on during the pandemic when he hosted the infamous Adria Tour, complete with nightclub parties, with no social distancing as many players and participants contracted the virus – including himself.

The ace won three of the four Majors in 2021 to tie level with Federer and Nadal before defeat to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final last month.

He beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the French Open – and the Greek is another high-profile tennis player opposed to being jabbed.

No3-ranked Tsitsipas revealed he has concerns about the vaccination and would only get it if it became mandatory on the ATP Tour.

Aryna Sabalenka, the world No2, has also spoken out about her worries – but was ruled out of the prestigious Indian Wells tournament this week after testing positive for coronavirus.

British hero Andy Murray, though, is strongly in support of players getting vaccinated – and not just to protect themselves.

He said: “The reason why all of us are getting vaccinated is to look out for the wider public.

“We have a responsibility, as players who are travelling across the world, to look out for everyone else as well.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“I’m happy that I’m vaccinated. I’m hoping that more players choose to have it in the coming months.”

It is estimated around 50 per cent of the ATP Tour and 60 per cent of the WTA Tour are vaccinated.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest

Boxing

KSI is returning to the boxing ring to face rival Alex Wassabi. The YouTube sensation and music star was last in the ring in...

Premier League

CARLOS ROA refused to fix Manchester United’s goalkeeping problem at the turn of the century because he thought the world was about to END....

Tennis

NOVAK DJOKOVIC cruised into a fourth round showdown with the new tiger Tim of Wimbledon. The defending champion saw off Miomir Kecmanovic 6-0 6-3...

Premier League

CHELSEA are closing in on the £45million transfer of Manchester City ace Raheem Sterling, according to reports. It is understood the two clubs remain...

Boxing

ANTHONY JOSHUA looked frighteningly fast as he gave some insight into training for next month’s rematch against Oleksandr Usyk. The British behemoth, 32, is...

Tennis

BUNGLING blazers have delivered a Centre Court snub to homegrown heroes Katie Boulter and Liam Broady. All England chiefs have blown the chance for...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook