Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic ‘not a cheat’ as he refused to ‘lie’ about vaccine status, renowned coach claims

Patrick Mouratoglou feels Novak Djokovic could have easily had a medical professional doctor his Covid-19 papers, but thinks his authenticity stopped him from “cheating and lying.”

20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was denied the chance to defend his Australian Open and compete for a record 21st Slam when he was deported just one day before the ‘Happy Slam’ began.

As Djokovic fought the cancellation of his medical exemption visa in court, it was revealed that he was unvaccinated against Covid-19.

He then reiterated his intention to remain unvaccinated in an interview with the BBC, where he said he is willing to sacrifice Grand Slams should vaccination be made mandatory for entry.

In a post published to his social media channels, Mouratoglou said “one of the main criticisms of Novak is that he is not authentic, but I believe the opposite.

“I believe he is extremely authentic and I give you an example. He is the only player at the top of the game who refuses to have his image on a video game because he does not believe it is good for children. So he doesn’t take the cheque.

“This last position about Corona Virus, it would have been really easy for someone like Novak to have a doctor to sign the papers and say he is vaccinated even though he is not, with no-one knowing about it,” the French coach claimed.

“That would allow him to play every tournament, do whatever he wants and be in a position to become the greatest of all time.

“He said no, I’m not going to cheat or lie by getting a doctor to sign papers. I am going to be true to myself. I believe it is bad for me to  [get] vaccinated, whether you like it or not. I’m going to say this to the world.

“If I’m not the GOAT [Greatest of All Time], I will regret it, but this is a message of someone who is true to his values and authentic. People will realise he is a much more authentic guy now,” he believes.

“He might have made some mistakes in communication that suggested he was not authentic, but I look at what people do and not what they say. It shows he is authentic.

“This is why I think this decision could be a game-changer for Novak. It shows who he really is.”

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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.