He also said that he would rather get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The No. The No. 1-ranked tennis player is still smarting about being expelled last month from Australia in . This drama was about his vaccination status, which has polarized opinion around the world.
In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, the 20-time Grand Slam champion stated that he has not been vaccinated and is willing to give up titles in order to keep his status.
The 34-year old Serb said that if necessary, he would not defend his Wimbledon and Roland Garros titles and will be absent from other tournaments. These comments are likely to boost his hero status among opponents to vaccination.
Djokovic stated that he was not against vaccinations, and tried to distance himself from antivaccination campaigners by saying that he had never claimed that he was part of the movement.
He said that "everyone has right to choose, act or say whatever is appropriate for them", and that he believes "the freedom to decide what goes into your body." That is what I consider essential.
He said that he is trying to be as in touch with his body as possible, and added that he has always been cautious about what he ingests. "Based on all of the information I received, I decided to not take the vaccine as of today.
Djokovic stated, "I am fully aware of the consequences of my decision." "I am aware that I cannot travel to most tournaments right now because of not having been vaccinated."
When asked if he would miss the French Open in Mai, he replied: "That's the price I'm willing to pay."
He was also asked if he would be willing to skip Wimbledon.
He said, "Because my body's principles of decision-making are more important than any title"
Djokovic won the French Open twice, in 2021 and has six Wimbledon titles, the last three being his.
Nadal won the Australian Open this year, which gave him one more major title over Roger Federer and Djokovic. Djokovic was expelled before he could continue playing.
Djokovic reread the deportation drama with the BBC in detail and expressed his disappointment at the outcome.
He stated, "What most people don't know is that my deportation from Australia was not on the grounds that I wasn't vaccinated or that I violated any rules or that my visa declaration was incorrect." "I was deported from Australia because the minister of immigration used his discretionary right to cancel my visa on the basis that he believed I might cause anti-vax sentiments in the country or the city. This is something I absolutely disagree with."
Djokovic received an exemption from strict vaccination rules by Tennis Australia and two medical panels. Based on evidence that Djokovic had recently recovered from COVID-19 he was granted an exemption which allowed him to obtain a visa to enter Australia. However, upon his arrival, border officials declared that the exemption was invalid and deported him.
The back-and-forth that followed raised the question of whether Djokovic was unfairly treated or singled out due to his celebrity status.
He spoke to BBC and said that he never used his privileged status to enter Australia by force or to do anything during the entire process.
Djokovic was initially allowed to stay by a court on procedural grounds. However, Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke decided to have him deported. His presence could incite anti-vaccine sentiments, according to the government.
Djokovic stated to the BBC that he understood the frustrations expressed by Australians towards him and the whole situation. "I'd like to state that I have always followed the rules."
His threats to skim the next two majors might prove futile.
Since last week, England has new rules that allow people who have not been vaccinated to enter the country. They will be subject to tests both before and after they arrive.
In France, vaccine rules could change in the months leading up to Roland Garros. This may allow Djokovic to play. As it recovers from the record-breaking omicron virus, some restrictions on travel and health have been eased.
Last week, the French government provided a timeframe of end-of March and beginning of April for possible lifting of its vaccine requirement. currently puts unvaccinated participants at risk of missing French Open.
Anyone who has not been vaccinated against coronavirus must show proof that they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past four months. This is a decrease from the six-month period. French law assumes that you have some protection against the virus if it has been recently administered to you. It aims to ban unvaccinated people from public venues, restaurants, bars, and other public places.
Djokovic previously stated that he had tested positive in December. The French Open will likely exclude Djokovic if the four-month rule is not changed. He must be vaccinated again or test positive within four months.