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Coronavirus: Novak Djokovic admits opposition to vaccines could delay his return to tennis

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts as he plays against Austria's Dominic Thiem during their men's singles final match on day fourteen of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on February 2, 2020
Image: Novak Djokovic has admitted his opposition to vaccinations could delay his return to tennis

World No 1 Novak Djokovic's opposition to vaccines could stand in the way of his return to tennis once it resumes from the coronavirus pandemic.

A push is growing for all players to be vaccinated when tennis starts again, provided a vaccination is produced by then.

Former world No 1 Amelie Mauresmo said last month that tennis should not resume unless players can be vaccinated, although the scientific community has repeatedly said that may be a year away, if a vaccine is developed at all.

"Personally I am opposed to vaccination and I wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel," Djokovic said in a live Facebook chat with several fellow Serbian athletes on Sunday.

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"But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision.

"I have my own thoughts about the matter and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don't know.

"Hypothetically, if the season was to resume in July, August or September, though unlikely, I understand that a vaccine will become a requirement straight after we are out of strict quarantine and there is no vaccine yet."

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Dual grand slam winner Mauresmo last month tweeted: "International circuit = players of all nationalities plus management, spectators and people from the four corners of the world who bring these events to life.

Coach of Andy Murray, Amelie Mauresmo watches him in a practice session during the 2015 Australian Open
Image: Amelie Mauresmo says tennis should not resume unless players can be vaccinated

"No vaccine = no tennis."

The tennis world has been thrown into disarray due to the coronavirus outbreak and governing bodies having suspended all tournaments until at least July 13.

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II, and the French Open has been put back four months until late September.

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