Novak Djokovic has been defended for standing by his unvaccinated status. The world No 1 has so far been able to play just one event so far this season as a result of his lack of vaccination, and his beliefs even led to him being deported from Australia on the eve of the first Grand Slam of the year.
Djokovic was the centre of an 11-day saga in Australia when he arrived in the country unvaccinated, had his visa cancelled twice and was ultimately deported on the eve of the Australian Open. He then doubled-down on his beliefs and told the BBC he would be willing to miss any tournament, even the Grand Slams, to stand by his views – something that was put into practice when he was unable to play in Indian Wells and Miami.
The 20-time Major champion has received backlash for his decision and its consequences, including most recently when he kept his name in the Indian Wells draw despite being unable to enter the United States to compete as an unvaccinated individual. But a seasoned ATP and WTA Tour coach has now stood up for the Serb, admitting his decision to stick to his views was “admirable”.
Rob Steckley, who previously coached the likes of ATP world No 14 Denis Shapovalov and WTA world No 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, told the Match Point Canada podcast that it was “crazy” for a player at the top of his game to be so vocal on his controversial views. “You have Djokovic who is sticking to his beliefs on you know against, what was it, not getting fully vaccinated?” he started.
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