Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

‘Be more aware of others!’ – Martina Navratilova ‘can’t defend’ Novak Djokovic’s vaccine stance

Martina Navratilova has claimed the deportation saga was “avoidable” and has urged Novak Djokovic to “take one for the team” and get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Over the past week, World number one Djokovic has found himself embroiled in controversy after his Australian Open medical exemption was voided and his visa was then cancelled as deportation threatened to slash his hopes of winning a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.

The 20-time Slam champion was allowed to stay in Australia and fight the cancellation in court and as such the court ruled to restore Djokovic’s visa and reinstate his medical exemption.

This means Djokovic is allowed to defend his ‘Happy Slam’ crown despite being unvaccinated.

Whilst Djokovic has previously made his concerns on vaccine mandates clear, fellow 20-time Slam winner Rafael Nadal has taken the opposite view.

Spaniard Nadal has been a big proponent of the various vaccines, even going as far as encouraging Spanish athletes to contribute up to £10 million ($13.5 million) to a Red Cross campaign that would help those who have suffered from Covid-19.

Nadal recently said Djokovic was “free to make his own decisions” but reminded the Serbian that he “knew the conditions” and that “there are consequences.”

18-time Slam ace Navratilova told British television programme Good Morning Britain “it’s unbelievable – what a saga. [But] it could have been avoided. I just wish Novak had taken that vaccination to begin with.

“I admire him so much but I can’t defend the choice to not get vaccinated. You have to take one for the team. It’s getting crazier by the minute.

“We’re in such close contact in the locker rooms. I couldn’t wait to get vaccinated. I admire Novak and I know what it takes to be that committed.

“I would be much more scared of getting sick from not being vaccinated than whatever side effects I might have from the vaccination. You really need to be more aware of everybody else.”

? Read >> Breaking tennis news

? Follow >> 24/7 LIVE scores

? Free >> Receive our legendary newsletter

Join >> Tennishead CLUB, the world’s only virtual tennis club

? Social >> Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube

? Order >> World’s best tennis magazine

? Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted retail partner

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.