Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic ‘driven’ to vaccination by Rafael Nadal’s 21st Slam win, suggests biographer

Daniel Muksch believes Novak Djokovic has been spurred on to Covid-19 vaccination by Rafael Nadal’s 21st Grand Slam title and also reveals he “doesn’t agree” with his family’s deportation comments.

20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was denied the opportunity to win a record 21st Slam title when he was deported just one day before the Australian Open.

As a result, Slam rival Nadal went under the radar to storm to the final where he completed a phenomenal comeback to upset US Open winner Daniil Medvedev and win a record-breaking 21st Slam.

Djokovic had his medical exemption and visa cancelled and as he fought the decision in court it was revealed in the legal proceedings that he is unvaccinated against Covid-19.

The Serbian great did have his visa reinstated, although Immigration Minister Alex Hawke overruled the court’s decision to terminate the visa one final time. This decision was upheld and Djokovic was deported.

Speaking with Austrian television station Servus TV, Djokovic’s biographer Muksch said “what you hear from his environment [team], I think he’s getting vaccinated. Maybe the final in Melbourne also contributed to that. Rafael Nadal’s 21 is driving him, no question.

“This role as an outsider is very much anchored in his character. There’s a nice quote of his that says ‘not all champions are born in the country clubs of the rich.’ He doesn’t name names, but you can guess who he’s referring to.”

Muksch also revealed that he believes Djokovic disagrees with his families sensationalist antics during his detainment and subsequent deportation.

During the saga, father Srdjan claimed the Australian Government were “crucifying him like Jesus,” whilst his brother Djordje called the situation the “greatest sporting scandal.”

Muksch said “Djokovic would never publicly oppose his father. That’s how he was brought up.

“On the other hand, he definitely doesn’t approve of what happened in Belgrade during the crazy days in Melbourne. That’s how close the relationship between them is neither anymore.”

Djokovic will begin his 2022 season at the Dubai Tennis Championships which run from February 14th to February 26th. Djokovic’s vaccination status is not a conditional requirement as entrants are not required to be vaccinated as a prerequisite for competition.

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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.