Skepticism Greets Novak Djokovic’s Vaccine Exemption

In June 2020, when sports activities had been nonetheless largely shut down, and lengthy earlier than consultants deemed it secure for individuals to assemble and huge occasions to happen, Djokovic organized a sequence of exhibition matches in Serbia and Croatia and invited a number of of the world’s prime gamers to take part. They obliged, and several other of them grew to become contaminated with the coronavirus, including Djokovic.

Eventually, vaccines grew to become out there and a debate ensued about requiring tennis gamers to get inoculated, to guard themselves, tennis followers and match organizers, for the reason that excursions are an 11-month journey world wide. Djokovic was adamantly towards this. He has lengthy stated vaccination is a personal and private choice that shouldn’t be mandated.

This positioned him at odds along with his chief rivals, Federer and Nadal, who’re vaccinated. Just final month, Nadal stated he didn’t have a place on a mandate however deferred to the consultants who stated vaccines had been one of the simplest ways to guard everybody.

“I don’t pretend to know more than what the authorized people say,” Nadal stated final month throughout his preparation for the Australian Open within the United Arab Emirates. He examined constructive for the coronavirus upon his return to Spain. “If the people who really know about it say that we need to be vaccinated, who I am to create a different opinion?”

Throughout final yr, the WTA, the skilled ladies’s tour, and the ATP, the lads’s circuit, didn’t require a vaccination, although gamers typically have needed to adhere to staying inside a strict bubblelike environment as they hopscotched the world.

But then the Australian Open introduced the vaccine can be required to realize entry into the nation. Djokovic’s father referred to the mandate as “blackmail.” A confrontation between match organizers and Novak Djokovic appeared inevitable, producing combined feelings on the prime of the game.

Djokovic’s absence would make it simpler for his rivals to win. But whereas he isn’t precisely shut with Federer or Nadal, Djokovic is extraordinarily widespread amongst many prime gamers, together with main members of the so-called subsequent era like Alexander Zverev of Germany, Daniil Medvedev of Russia and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who additionally occur to be his neighbors in Monte Carlo.

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