NOVAK DJOKOVIC insists he was “never anti-vax.”
That’s despite being barred from several tournaments for failing to get a Covid jab.
Djokovic, 36, stormed to his fourth US Open victory at the weekend, defeating Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in the final.
It was his third Grand Slam win in 2023.
But last year, Djokovic wasn’t allowed to take part in the US Open after choosing to not have a Covid shot.
The Serbian ace could not enter America due to their vaccination policy, which was lifted in May.
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And Djokovic also missed out on last year’s Australian Open for the same reason.
The ace did make it into the country, but he was immediately quarantined and then deported following a Federal Court ruling.
Djokovic bounced back by winning the latest Australian Open in January.
And he has now claimed he was never against the Covid vaccine, insisting that he was simply exercising his freedom to choose not to have it.
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Speaking to John McEnroe in an interview aired after his US Open victory, Djokovic said: “I was never anti-vax.
“I was always pro-freedom to choose. And that’s something that we took really for granted.
“I didn’t feel like a lot of people had a choice really.”
Djokovic also said his bans made him feel like a “villain of the world.”
He added: “I just wanted to compete and I wanted to play tennis, because that’s what I do best.”
As well as winning in Australia and America this year, Djokovic also clinched his third French Open title.
But he was unable to pick up an eighth Wimbledon win, losing to Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in a five-set thriller.