Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

‘It’s terrible for tennis’ declares Slam icon on Novak Djokovic vaccine news

Former world number three Pam Shriver believes the stance taken by Novak Djokovic to possibly sacrifice future Slams is unfortunate to say the least.

Shriver, who alongside doubles partner Martina Navratilova completed the doubles Career Grand Slam four times over, has hope that the world number one can still be convinced to get jabbed.

Her response comes after Djokovic said his bodily autonomy is more important than any title and emphasised again that he will not be forced to get vaccinated.

Shriver said to the BBC: “I hope that the right trusted person, who is an expert in science and medicine, probably would have to be a Serbian, can sit him down and show him, and walk him through all of the steps that make the science and the medicine trustworthy and safe to put in his body. 

“Because it’s terrible for tennis, not good for him.

“And, really, he does lead by example.

“The fact that he doesn’t trust it, it does lead a lot of people, in his home country and throughout the world.” 

Djokovic’s interview, conducted by the BBC, also reiterated that the 20-time Slam champion was deported from Australia not because of his unvaccinated status but because such a status was seen to potentially stir anti-vaccine sentiment in the country.

Djokovic stated he totally disagreed with Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on the decision.

He further explained that he remains unvaccinated for the moment, but that he maintains an “open mind” on the matter, something about which Shriver is skeptical.

She said: “It was good to hear his rationale in some ways, but in some ways it raises more questions.

“The biggest question I would have is: will he truly have an open mind to get vaccinated at a later date, if the evidence becomes clear to him that it really is a safe vaccine?”

That question will remained unanswered for the time being as the world of tennis and sport more widely keeps watch on the continued saga.

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