Novak Djokovic 'Opposed to Vaccination,' Conflicted If 'Forced' for COVID-19

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2020

FILE - In this Feb. 29, 2020, file photo, Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during the final match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The heads of the ATP and WTA professional tennis tours tell the AP that they are coordinating with each other as they weigh how to reschedule the sport’s calendar for whenever play can resume after the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)
Kamran Jebreili/Associated Press

Tennis star Novak Djokovic spoke out against vaccination Sunday and said he would not want to be "forced" to take a vaccine to travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  

"Personally, I am opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel," Djokovic said in a live Facebook chat. "But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision. I have my own thoughts about the matter, and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don't know.

"Hypothetically, if the season was to resume in July, August or September, though unlikely, I understand that a vaccine will become a requirement straight after we are out of strict quarantine, and there is no vaccine yet."

A vaccine for COVID-19 is believed to be at least a year away from being made widely available. Several are currently in the testing stage. 

Djokovic did not delve into his reasoning for being against vaccination. There is no medical reason why vaccines would be considered unsafe. 

Wimbledon already announced its cancellation, and the French Open has been pushed back to a September start due to the pandemic. It's unclear when either the ATP or WTA would resume. Many tournaments require international travel, which has been heavily restricted as more than 2.3 million people have been diagnosed with the virus.

All scheduled tournaments have been postponed or canceled until at least July 13.