Novak Djokovic finds ways of getting dragged into the Covid maelstrom. After ignominiously being holed up at Melbourne’s Park Hotel– a part of which is a detention centre for refugees- the Serb would face deportation on the insistence of Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke. While months have passed since that divisive episode, the murky head of the Covid virus has risen again, this time on the grassy lawns of the All England Tennis and Croquet Club. With the twin pullouts of heavy-hitters Marin Cilic and Matteo Berrettini, doubts have surfaced on the Covid preparedness of the Wimbledon organizers.

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With talks swirling of a Covid jab, the Serbian redoubled his opposition to any such suggestion. Having refused to vaccinate- at the cost of missing out on the Australian Open- it comes as little surprise that the Djoker does not entertain talk of getting jabbed. Attending a press conference at Wimbledon, Novak was asked by a reporter if he had ‘completely closed’ his mind to the option, to which he replied with a curt ‘Yes. Yes.’

While his arguments have veered close to being anti-vax, the 20-time champion is not an easy character to judge. His often eccentric beliefs- not least his disavowal of Covid vaccinations- fly in the face of accepted rationale. Although often goofy, the Balkan has an abrasive edge. It comes to the fore when faced with questions on mandatory vaccination. But such is his conviction against Covid vaccinations he acquired an 80% stake in a Danish company- QuantBioRes- developing an alternative cure for Covid (read: not vaccines).

The 35-year-old- in an interview with the BBC- revealed his reasons for refusing vaccination:

“I was never against vaccination, but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body,” quotes TennisWorld USA.

“Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can,” he insisted.

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While this is old sauce, the exits of two top contenders bring Covid front and centre into the Wimbledon scheme. Given his sketchy past, one wonders if Djokovic will manage to weasel himself out of the spotlight!