Roger Federer’s take on coronavirus vaccine with Novak Djokovic in the spotlight

Novak Djokovic 'won't win Australian Open' says Bowers

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Novak Djokovic has long made it clear he’s opposed to the coronavirus vaccine. The Serb, whose involvement in this year’s Australian Open is currently up in the air, has often spoken out on the matter. Roger Federer has too and, with the two men both iconic sporting figures, it appears their views couldn’t be more different.

Last week, Djokovic flew out to Australia believing he’d secured a medical exemption that would allow him to play in the Grand Slam despite not having a vaccine.

Ever since, however, the Serb has found himself in the spotlight.

Djokovic was arrested and forced to quarantine but, on Monday, a judge ruled he was free to participate as he looks to win a 21st major of his career.

Yet his involvement in this year’s showpiece tournament is still uncertain.

Australian authorities are now looking to see whether Djokovic provided the wrong information on his travel documents, having previously insisted he’d not travelled in the 14 days prior to jetting Down Under.

And with Djokovic seemingly keen not to be vaccinated, it’s intriguing to see what Federer’s stance is.

The duo, along with Rafael Nadal, are statistically the best players to ever grace a tennis court.

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Federer, speaking in May last year, confirmed he’d been given the jab.

And the Swiss maestro even went as far to reveal which version he’d been given, saying: “Yes, I’m vaccinated.

“I am happy to have been able to do it with all the trips I take.

“Even if I’m staying in Switzerland, I think there are advantages. Above all, I did it for others because I don’t want to give it to anyone else, even if I still remain very careful.

“We’re very careful with the family and with our friends.”

Nadal, too, has made his feelings on the vaccine clear as well.

The Spaniard, who will also be vying for a 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, last week expressed a belief all players should be vaccinated.

“Of course what’s happening is not good for no one in my opinion,” Nadal said.

“But I can’t have a clear opinion on everything because I don’t have all the details honestly.

“Seems some rough situation, but at the end of the day the only thing that I can say is we have been going through very challenging and a lot of families have been suffering a lot during the last two years with all the pandemic.

“I mean it’s normal that the people here in Australia get very frustrated with the case because they have been going through a lot of very hard lockdowns, and a lot of people were not able to come back home.

“From my point of view, that’s the only thing that I can say is I believe in what the people who knows about medicine says, and if the people says that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine.

“I went through the COVID. I have been vaccinated twice. If you do this, you don’t have any problems to play here. That’s the only clear thing.

“The rest of the things, I don’t want to have or to give to you an opinion that I don’t have the whole information.

“The only for me clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open and everywhere, and the world in my opinion have been suffering enough to not follow the rules.”

He did, however, say on Monday that he respected the decision to let Djokovic play.

“It seems perfect to me, totally correct,” he told Onda Cero.

“Whether or not you agree with some of the things regarding Djokovic, justice has spoken and has said that he has the right to play in the Australian Open, and that’s really the fairest way.”

Every individual has differing views on what is certainly a sensitive matter.

And, in October, Djokovic branded the matter as ‘private’ while also hitting out at the media.

“I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not. It is a private matter… that is an immoderate question,” he said. 

“Too many people today allow themselves such freedom to ask things and condemn a person.

“Whatever you answer – ‘Yes, I didn’t, maybe, I don’t know, I’m thinking!’ – they will abuse it.

“The media has become… I have no word how to describe it.

“It spreads fear and panic among people and I don’t want to participate in that rift. I feel that everyone is hostile.

“I don’t want to give them a reason to write some things about me.”

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