Former world number one Pam Shriver has warned that Novak Djokovic’s refusal to get a coronavirus shot will drive people away from sport and be “terrible for tennis”. Mr Djokovic recently reaffirmed his commitment not to get stung against the virus, even if it means missing title tournaments.
Ms Shriver told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Really one of the hardest things, I think, to think that tennis history could be rewritten because of the pandemic and because of the refusal of athlete number one to get vaccinated and therefore to travel to many countries unable at present.
“I mean, one of the things that Novak makes clear in the interview is that he’s saying for now like in other words later, when hopefully the pandemic for all of us will subside and become he there is a finish line to this that he is going to be able to travel more freely.
The former world No. the science and the drug part that is trustworthy and safe to put in your body.
“Because I just think it would be terrible for tennis, not good for him.”
“And really, he leads, he leads by example,” she added.
“Whether or not he wants to be seen as anti-vax, the fact that he doesn’t trust him influences a lot of people in his home country and around the world.
“So we need as many leaders in all parts of the world to embrace this vaccine.”
It comes as Mr Djokovic told the BBC he is ready to miss out on more Grand Slam titles and potentially the world number 1 ranking in order to maintain his vaccine position.
Mr Djokovic added that he had been vaccinated as a child, “but I have always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body”.
“I understand that, around the world, everyone is trying to make a big effort to manage this virus and hopefully see the end of this virus soon,” he said.
“We are all trying to find, collectively, the best possible solution to end Covid,” he said.
Denying any connection to the anti-vaxxer moment, he said: ‘I say everyone has the right to choose, to do or to say what they feel is appropriate for them. I never said I was part of this movement.