Tsitsipas Djokovic Madrid 2019

Stefanos Tsitsipas believes ‘most players respect Novak Djokovic’s vaccine choice’

Stefanos Tsitsipas “wouldn’t say it’s right or wrong” for Novak Djokovic being unvaccinated as he thinks “most players respect his decision.”

20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic has been enveloped in controversy over the past few months as he has constantly refused to publicly declare his Covid-19 vaccination status.

Doubt arose over his participation at the Australian Open after it was announced that players would have to be fully-vaccinated in order to compete, a move brandished as “blackmail” by Novak’s father Srdjan.

Despite not publicly revealing whether he was vaccinated or not, Djokovic was entered onto both Serbia’s ATP Cup team and the Australian Open entry list. However, tournament director Craig Tiley reminded people that “everyone goes on the entry list, it’s not a commitment list.”

As the ATP Cup and the ‘Happy Slam’ draw ever-closer, World number one Djokovic made the decision to withdraw from the ATP Cup, plunging his Australian Open involvement into further doubt.

National teammate Dusan Lajovic revealed Djokovic was “waiting for a decision” as he attempts to feature at the first Grand Slam of the season and defend his crown. Although, his hopes would have been hampered by reports suggesting he was denied a medical exemption.

In an interview with Sky Sports Italy, Tsitsipas said “if he [Djokovic] thinks he’s not ready to play here [Australia] for whatever reason, it’s his choice. I respect it. Everyone has the freedom to decide.

“I think most of the players respect his choice. He has the freedom to choose. The rules are rules, and the rules are established for a certain purpose and reason.

“So there are certain parameters that have to be followed in order to make certain things happen. So if some players decide not to follow them, it’s their choice. I wouldn’t say it’s right or wrong here,” Tsitsipas claimed.

“I don’t promote vaccination, but I’m not even against it. I support anyone who wants to do it.

“I am not a doctor, I am an athlete and my outlook may not be the best when it comes to medicine. I will be vaccinated this year. I do it to have a normal life.”

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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.