Stefanos Tsitsipas feels "everyone has the freedom to decide" regarding vaccination, says Novak Djokovic's decision must be respected

Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas (inset).
Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas (inset).

World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas has asked people to "respect" what 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic chooses to do regarding COVID-19 vaccination. The Greek feels everyone should be given the freedom to make their own decisions on this matter.

Tsitsipas was initially skeptical about vaccination and had made a series of unscientific comments earlier in the year. But the Roland Garros runner-up made a U-turn later in the year and opted to take the vaccine to have a "normal life."

Meanwhile, World No. 1 Djokovic's vaccination status remains undisclosed, which has led to a lot of speculation. The Victorian Government has passed a mandate whereby all players must be fully vaccinated to play at the ATP Cup and Australian Open.

With Djokovic continuing to remain tight-lipped about his vaccination status, his participation in the Australian swing is in doubt.

While speaking to Sky Sports Italia last Sunday, Tsitsipas insisted that Djokovic should not be vilified for whatever he ultimately decides to do.

"I do not promote vaccination, but I am not against it either, I support whoever wants to do it," he said. "I am an athlete, not a doctor, so my perspective on these issues may not be correct, I have been vaccinated in order to have a normal life, but everyone has the freedom to decide. I believe that we must respect what Novak does."

Novak Djokovic still on ATP Cup players' list

Novak Djokovic in action at the semifinals of the Davis Cup 2021
Novak Djokovic in action at the semifinals of the Davis Cup 2021

Novak Djokovic was expected to lead Team Serbia at the ATP Cup scheduled to get under way in Sydney on January 1. However, with just four days left for the competition, the Serb has still not arrived Down Under. In fact, he was recently seen having a hit in his neighborhood in Belgrade.

Even Novak's father, Srdjan, has hinted at his son pulling out of the Australian Open given the strict measures taken by the organizers.

Under these circumstances, it wouldn't be surprising if the nine-time Australian Open champion decides not to attempt his title defense. In fact, recent reports have suggested that Djokovic could withdraw from the ATP Cup as well.

But with Tennis Australia confirming that Team Serbia haven't had any pullouts yet, the World No. 1 still remains on course to play.

With the ATP Cup just days away from kicking off, we'll get to know very soon what Djokovic has decided.

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Edited by Anantaajith Raghuraman
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