Djokovic drew lots of criticism last year because of his vaccination status.
Novak Djokovic has told John McEnroe that he “was never anti-vax” but just “pro-freedom-to-choose.” Last year, Djokovic faced lots of scrutiny and backlash for not getting a COVID-19 vaccine. After missing the Australian Open and US Open last year due to his vaccination status, Djokovic was able to play all four Grand Slam tournaments this year and he is now not facing any issue when it comes to playing anywhere in the world.
“I was never anti-vax. I was always pro-freedom-to-choose. And that’s something that we took really for granted. I didn’t feel like a lot of people had a choice, really,” Djokovic said during his interview for ESPN+’s “McEnroe’s Places.”
Djokovic: I just wanted to compete
In late 2022, Djokovic learned he would be allowed to return to the 2023 Australian Open.
In May, Djokovic officially learned that he would also be able to return to this year’s US Open. “I just wanted to compete, and I wanted to play tennis because that’s what I do best,” Djokovic said. Djokovic’s return to the Australian Open and US Open was quite something.
Earlier this year, Djokovic won his 10th Australian Open title in his return to Melbourne Park. This past weekend, Djokovic also won the US Open on his return after beating Daniil Medvedev in the final. After the US Open final, Djokovic addressed his “perfect” comebacks to the Australian Open and US Open. “I wouldn’t say probably was easy.
Easier comparing to what exactly, we don’t know, because I don’t think too many players were in that position. Yeah, I guess people have comeback stories. I love them too. They motivate me. Obviously different circumstances, Australia and here.
I haven’t played any tournament on American soil for two years, and the last time I was here I lost in the finals against the same player I beat today;” Djokovic said after winning the US Open.