Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Boris Becker feels Novak Djokovic’s refusal to get vaccinated will ‘threaten what remains of his career’

Boris Becker has urged Novak Djokovic to get vaccinated and feels he is “making a big mistake” that will heavily impact the remainder of his career.

Over the past few months, World number one Novak Djokovic has consistently refused to publicly announce his Covid-19 vaccination status.

As such, questions arose over whether he would be able to defend his Australian Open title after it was announced that players would need to be vaccinated in order to compete.

Despite withdrawing from the ATP Cup, 20-time Grand Slam titlist Djokovic revealed that he had been granted a medical exemption to compete at the ‘Happy Slam.’

However, upon arrival at the border his medical exemption was deemed inadequate and his visa was cancelled which meant the Serbian number one would be detained.

Djokovic has been allowed to stay in Australia with an injunction as he fights his deportation in the Australian courts.

Germany’s greatest male ever Boris Becker had defended Djokovic from the swathes of criticism and backlash he faced as a result of these events, but has now urged him to get vaccinated as he feels not doing so may greatly harm what remains of his career.

In a column for the Daily Mail, six-time Grand Slam champion and Djokovic’s former coach Becker said “I would almost regard him as family – but like in all families you sometimes have disagreements.

“And on this occasion I think he is making a big mistake in not getting vaccinated. It is one that threatens what remains of his career and his chance to cement himself as the greatest player of all time.

“I did not have the chance to speak to Novak but I would urge him to get vaccinated — although whether he would listen is another matter. I also accept that as someone in my fifties I look at my health in a different way from those in their twenties and thirties who feel more invincible.

“Will Novak take that step? I am not sure that he will. If he does not, then in ten years he will look back on it and realise he made a mistake.

“He is going to find it very hard to live the life of a professional tennis player travelling around without the vaccination.

“Those are the rules, whether one likes them or not, and you have to accept it.

“He is making life very difficult for himself. Even if he is allowed to stay in Australia this is going to be the worst preparation he has ever had for a Grand Slam.

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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.