Wimbledon 2022: Novak Djokovic defends SW19 men’s title

Novak Djokovic begins Wimbledon 2021 title defense campaign as tennis tournament allows for unvaccinated status

Novak Djokovic got off to a strong start in defending his 2021 Wimbledon title after a first-round win over Kwon Soon-woo, defeating the South Korean 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4.

The world number one tennis player made headlines for all the wrong reasons in December when he was expelled from Australia ahead of the Australian Open for not being vaccinated.

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Fears began to surface among the Serbian star’s fans over whether he would be able to defend one of his titles and continue his reign as number one.

After the debacle in Australia, Djokovic then missed Indian Wells, a tournament he historically loves and triumphs in, and the Miami Open due to coronavirus rules, among other reasons.

However, Wimbledon has allowed unvaccinated players, meaning Djokovic can defend his title and seek a 21st Grand Slam win…

What did Wimbledon say?

The chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club said at a recent press conference: “The requirement set by the Government to enter the UK does not include compulsory vaccination. Although this is of course recommended, it is therefore not a condition of entry.”

Why is Novak Djokovic unvaccinated?

When asked in a Facebook interview with former world no.

Djokovic celebrates the match point after beating Matteo Berrettini at Wimbledon 2021

He also said he was “curious about wellbeing and how we can enable our metabolisms to be in the best shape to defend against cheaters like COVID-19.”

“I’m not an expert, but I want to be able to choose what’s best for my body.”

Shortly after the Australian Open extravagance, Djokovic then did a wide-ranging interview with the BBC, in which he said missing out on competitions like the French Open – the second Grand Slam he will miss in 2022 – “was the price I paid I’m willing to pay.”

He spoke of “having always been a great student of wellness, wellness, health and nutrition,” and his decision was influenced in part by the impact changing his diet and sleep pattern had on his ability as an athlete.

He also said he “keeps my opinion open” about a possible vaccination in the future, “because together we are all trying to find the best possible solution to end Covid.”

“I was never against vaccinations. I understand that everyone around the world is trying to make great efforts to deal with this virus and hopefully put an end to this virus soon.”

When is Novak Djokovic playing next?

Djokovic plays Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round in SW19 tomorrow, Wednesday 29 June 2022.

Kokkinakis defeated Kamil Majchrzak 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 7-5 in the first round to set up his second-round match against the defending champion.

The pair will play Center Court tomorrow and the game can be watched on BBC One, Two and iPlayer.

https://www.nationalworld.com/sport/tennis/wimbledon-2022-novak-djokovic-tennis-unvaccinated-status-explained-3669717 Wimbledon 2022: Novak Djokovic defends SW19 men’s title


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