Novak Djokovic has doubled down on his decision not to get vaccinated against Covid-19, saying he'll happily miss out on Grand Slams and other tournaments rather than be jabbed.
Djokovic hit all the headlines back in January when his decision not to get the vaccine led to the mother of all visa issues for the Australian Open, first he was allowed in, then he wasn't, then he was and finally he wasn't.
The Serbian was dealt a further blow when Rafael Nadal went on to win the year's first Grand Slam, meaning the Spanish star beat his rival to being the first man to reach 21 slam victories.
There was claims that Djokovic was going to change his mind and get the vaccine, following Nadal's win, but now the 34-year-old has certainly ended that idea, and how!
Speaking to the BBC, the six time Wimbledon champion was asked if he was willing to sacrifice playing in the French Open and at SW19 later this year.
"Yes, that is the price that I'm willing to pay," Djokovic answered.
"The principles of decision-making on my body are more important than any title or anything else," the tennis star added.
"I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can. I understand and support fully the freedom to choose
"…Whether you want to get vaccinated or not, and I have not spoken about this before, and I have not disclosed my medical record and my vaccination status, because I had the right to keep that private and discreet.
"But as I see there is a lot of wrong conclusions and assumptions out there. It’s important to speak up about that and justify certain things."
Djokovic remains the world's number one men's tennis player, ahead of Daniil Medvedev, who lost the final in Melbourne to Nadal, but that is likely to change.
With his stance on the jab remaining the same, the world's best player won't be able to play in many tournaments across the world, making it impossible to defend his ranking points.
He has acknowledged that his decision will affect his chances of future success, adding, "I’m part of a very global sport that is played every single week in a different location.
"So I understand the consequences of my decision and one of the consequences of my decision was not going to Australia, and I was prepared not to go, and I understand that not being vaccinated today, I’m unable to travel to most of the tournaments at the moment."
The rules for each tournament this year won't be confirmed until closer to each one, with the rules in different countries constantly changing, but it is initially expected that he won't be allowed into France for the only open on clay, in May.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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