Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Benjamin Goddard

Novak Djokovic reflects on Covid vaccine stance after missing Indian Wells and Miami Open

Tennis star Novak Djokovic has discussed his Covid vaccination status after missing out on crucial ranking points at the Indian Wells and Miami Open tournaments.

The 35-year-old equalled Rafael Nadal's record of 22 Grand Slam crowns by taking victory at the Australian Open in January - a year after being deported amid a row over his entry to the country.

Djokovic has refused to have the Covid vaccine, resulting in countries banning the tennis star which has meant he has missed plenty of tournaments over the past year or so. In total the world No. 2 has been absent at eight tournaments due to his non-vaccine status, resulting in the star losing an eye-watering sum from missed prize money.

Amongst the eight tournaments he missed, Djokovic was prevented from playing in both the US Open and Australian Open last year - missing out on a chance to increase his Grand Slam tally. He also missed out on precious ranking points, dropping four places to fifth in the world rankings.

His victorious return to Melbourne Park in January, in the absence of injured Carlos Alcaraz, sent Djokovic back to the world No. 1 ranking.

After reaching his record 380th week at No. 1 spot, the Serbian has been refused entry to America and had to withdraw from this month's Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open.

Will Novak Djokovic finish his career with more Grand Slam crowns that Rafael Nadal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section

Novak Djokovic dropped to world No. 2 after missing the Indian Wells Masters (AP)

Alcaraz has taken full advantage on his return from injury - winning at Indian Wells and re-claiming his No. 1 spot. Talking to CNN, Djokovic has reflected on his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid.

He said: "I have no regrets. I've learned through life that regrets only hold you back and basically make you live in the past.

"I don't want to do that. I also don't want to live too much in the future. I want to be as much as in the present moment but of course think about future, create a better future. So I congratulate Alcaraz. He absolutely deserves to come back to No 1.

Carlos Alcaraz regained the world No. 1 ranking spot with victory at Indian Wells (AP)

"But at the same time, it's the conscious decision I made and I knew that there is always a possibility that I won't go. And it is the current state or current situation that I hope will change for later this year, for the US Open. That's the most important tournament for me on American soil."

Djokovic added that he was 'as enthusiastic as ever' about his tennis career and continuing projects off the court.

He concluded: "The dignity, and integrity, and staying true to myself, and my beliefs and my rights are above everything."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.