Djokovic doubles down on anti-vaccination beliefs ahead of Wimbledon title defense

The three-time defending Wimbledon champion accepts Wimbledon could be his last Grand Slam tournament of the year

Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - June 27, 2022 Serbia'a Novak Djokovic in action during his first round match against South Korea's Kwon Soon-woo REUTERS/Paul Childs
Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - June 27, 2022 Serbia'a Novak Djokovic in action during his first round match against South Korea's Kwon Soon-woo REUTERS/Paul Childs

As top seed and World No. 3 Novak Djokovic of Serbia opens his Wimbledon title defense, he made it quite clear nothing has changed regarding his COVID-19 vaccination status.

Djokovic was famously detained and then deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open last January due to his unvaccinated status.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner was allowed to play in the French Open and is allowed to play at Wimbledon despite being unvaccinated, but the U.S. Open in August is a different story.

The United States currently requires all visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and Djokovic reiterated to reporters he won’t get vaccinated just to play tournaments, even the U.S. Open.

FILE PHOTO: Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic arrives at Nikola Tesla Airport, after the Australian Federal Court upheld a government decision to cancel his visa to play in the Australian Open, in Belgrade, Serbia January 17, 2022. REUTERS/Christopher Pike     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic arrives at Nikola Tesla Airport, after the Australian Federal Court upheld a government decision to cancel his visa to play in the Australian Open, in Belgrade, Serbia January 17, 2022. REUTERS/Christopher Pike TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY/File Photo

When asked if he had definitely decided to not get the COVID-19 vaccine, Djokovic was very clear with his response.

“Yes,” he said.

“As of today I’m not allowed to enter the States under these circumstances. I’m aware of that,” he told reporters.

“That is an extra motivation to do well here. Hopefully I can have a very good tournament, as I have done in the last three editions. Then I’ll just have to wait and see. I would love to go to States, but as of today, that’s not possible.”

Djokovic has already missed Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells, California and Miami as a result of his unvaccinated status.