"As an elite athlete, I want to triple-check everything that enters my body" - Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic spoke about his reservations about the COVID-19 vaccine
Novak Djokovic spoke about his reservations about the COVID-19 vaccine

Novak Djokovic has elaborated upon his apprehensions about the COVID-19 vaccine in a recent interview with Serbian media outlet RTS. He claimed that he senses every minute change in his body, making him "cautious" about putting any foreign substance in it.

The World No. 1 confirmed in a recent interview with the BBC that he was not vaccinated against COVID-19, but maintained that he is not an 'anti-vaxxer' as many perceive him to be.

Touching on the matter with RTS, the Serb explained that he is immensely in tune with his body and is ready to "live with the consequences" of not getting jabbed.

“As an elite athlete, I want to triple-check everything that enters my body," he said. "If something changes for 0.5% in my body, I feel it. I am just cautious before making any decisions, I am taking my time and keeping my mind open. I will live with the consequences."

Djokovic stressed that people should have the freedom to decide what they wanted to do with their bodies. But he also asserted that he does not consider himself to be part of a group of people who have extreme views against the vaccine.

“I stand for choice and the autonomy of every individual, that every person has the right to decide in the matter of their health," said the Serb. "I don’t like being labelled and put in the same category with certain initiatives or movements, I never said I support any of those. I have always tried to respect everybody’s choices, I hope that people can respect mine as well.”

"I plan to be in Paris in 2024" - Novak Djokovic

During the interview, Novak Djokovic also opened up about his future goals. He made it clear he has no plans to retire before the 2024 Paris Olympics, where he is hopeful of an elusive gold medal.

The Serb fell short of winning a medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. With back-to-back losses to Alexander Zverev and Pablo Carreno Busta, he had to return empty-handed.

Djokovic recalled his match against Zverev, where he led by a set and a break but failed to get past the finish line. The Serb said he was "running on fumes" by the end of that contest.

“An Olympic medal, especially gold, is always a big wish," the Serb admitted. "Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to fight for it in the past. I plan to be in Paris in 2024. I rewound my match with Zverev in Tokyo many times, trying to figure out what went wrong. I played superbly up to that point, but I did feel I was running on fumes, both mentally and physically.”

The Serb asserted that he is ready to go all guns blazing when he returns to the tour at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next week.

“I choose to focus on things I’ve already achieved and to be grateful for it," he said. "I don’t know what the future brings, I hope for the best and I feel that I still have time. Everything that has happened will affect my return in Dubai. I will try to channel all this energy, to turn it into fuel both mentally and physically. There is extra motivation, surely."

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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