Novak Djokovic: The GOAT Who Didn’t Take The Vax

Novak Djokovic was reportedly booed at Wimbledon, but he didn't care. "You guys can't touch me," he told the crowd.

By Meredith Evans2 min read
Getty/Julian Finney

In January 2022, Novak Djokovic made headlines after he and his team traveled to Australia to prepare for the Australian Open in Melbourne. The tennis champion was granted a medical exemption to play in the tournament, as Djokovic had already had Covid-19. Getting the mRNA vaccine wouldn't have been necessary.

However, Alex Hawke, the Australian immigration minister, deported Djokovic, canceled his visa, and thus prevented him from competing in the Australian Open. According to Hawke, the reason was the player's unvaccinated status.

Despite the strict measures, Djokovic stood his ground and rejected the Covid-19 vaccine. "I was never against vaccination," he told the BBC in an interview. "I've always represented and supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body."

"The principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title," he said.

In 2021 and 2022, Djokovic was unable to compete in the US Open as he still refused to get the shot. The tennis star, who holds 24 Grand Slam titles, said that he has no regrets about skipping the tournaments. “The reason why I was not here for two years, I have zero regret on that,” Djokovic told CNN. “I’m just glad to be back.”

Novak Djokovic Booed at 2024 Wimbledon

If you needed more proof of how based the tennis player is, on Monday, Djokovic was booed at Wimbledon following his 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win to advance to the quarterfinals.

The Serbian athlete fired back at the crowd. "And to all those people who have chosen to disrespect the player – in this case me – have a goooooood night," he said during the on-court interview. "Goooooood night. Goooooood night."

It's evident that Djokovic was mocking the fans who booed him, but his interviewer suggested that the crowd was actually chanting "Ruuuuuuune" for Holger Rune, his opponent.

Djokovic disagreed. And considering how many games he's played, I trust his judgment. "They were, they were, they were," he insisted. "I don't accept it. I know they were cheering for Rune, but that's an excuse to also boo. I've been on the tour for more than 20 years. Trust me. I know all the tricks. I know how it works."

Even if the stadium booed him, Djokovic showed that he didn't care. This is unsurprising since, over the past few years, he's proven himself to be one of the greatest of all time, a man of unwavering values who will fight for them – even if it means being ostracized. "I've played in much more hostile environments. Trust me," he added. "You guys can't touch me."

Djokovic's recent win marks his 15th career quarter-final at Wimbledon and 60th major quarter-final overall. Believe it or not, just 26 days before Wimbledon started, he had surgery on a torn medial meniscus, which caused him to withdraw from the French Open quarter-finals. Many expected him to miss Wimbledon, but he returned and defeated his opponents.

Having spent time in Serbia myself, I deeply admire the tenacity and strength of their people. They are resolute and unwavering in their convictions, willing to fight for what they believe is right.

A recent Serbian Newspaper discussed the situation, and its tone reflects Djokovic's spirit. "Although the whole situation is unbearably awful, there is at least one positive thing about it. Djokovic is again 'hungry' to win trophies, and the English who hate him are giving him food," the page reads. "We have no doubt at all that from Monday, the famous Serbian stubbornness will work and that Novak will do his best to shut the mouths of his haters again."

"In fact, what our legend needed for months happened – fuel, motivation and the desire to win. So, English, thank you for making Djokovic what he is with your idiotic behavior."

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