Novak Djokovic sent strong message amid Australian Open vaccine row – ‘There are rules’

Daniil Medvedev reacts to US Open win over Novak Djokovic

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Tennis icon Boris Becker has reminded Novak Djokovic of his responsibilities as a tennis player amid controversy surrounding the 2022 Australian Open. Djokovic has refused to confirm whether he’s accepted the COVID-19 vaccine, leaving his involvement in Melbourne in doubt.

Earlier this month, the world number one admitted: “I do not know if I will go to Australia, I do not know what is happening. At this moment, the situation does not look good.”

As per Australia’s strict COVID-19 regulations, tennis players who can’t prove their vaccination status must isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

It would ruin all preparation for the first Grand Slam of the season and likely rule out those who have opposed the vaccine.

And Djokovic’s uncertain status all but confirms he hasn’t been jabbed, meaning next year’s tournament could be without its nine-time winner.

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Becker has explained that he understands those who don’t want the vaccine but reminded Djokovic that all tennis players must follow the same rules, regardless of status.

He told Eurosport: “I was surprised by the number of tennis players who are not vaccinated.

“If you look around the world, the number of people who have been vaccinated continues to increase; I think that is positive.

“According to reports, two-thirds of the professionals in the Premier League are also vaccinated.

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“The athlete stops to think and say: ‘if I want to continue practising my sport, sooner or later I will have to get vaccinated, or I will not be able to. I am an athlete, and I have to follow the rules.’

“Many find it difficult, but that’s the way it is. In principle, I understand you [Djokovic] – not to say if you have been vaccinated – it is your right, that is privacy, and it has to be protected.

“But if you want to work as a tennis player, then, unfortunately, there are rules, and they are the same for everybody.

“Tennis players who want to go to Australia: the state of Victoria requires proof of vaccination. What we can say means nothing. If the Australian government has decided so, there is only one solution.”

Djokovic, the leader of the PRPA trade union association, has closely followed the Australian Government’s COVID-19 decision-making.

And after Daniel Andrews, the State of Victoria’s Prime Minister, explained that unvaccinated tennis players wouldn’t receive a visa, the Serbian star fired back with a strong message.

“You cannot discriminate against someone if they want to decide for themselves whether they want to be vaccinated or not,” Djokovic argued.

“I am very disappointed with world society at the moment and the way the media broadcasts and puts pressure on all women and people.”

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