'Not great for tennis': Andy Murray on Novak Djokovic's vaccination stance

The World No.1 had earlier said that he is willing to pay the price for his unvaccinated status.

Novak Djokovic in a file photo. (Image credit: Twitter)

British veteran Andy Murray has voiced his opinion on World No.1 Novak Djokovic‘s stance on Covid-19 vaccination. The Serbian had earlier expressed that he is willing to pay the price and miss out on tournaments if he is forced to get a vaccine. And Murray believes that the 20-time Grand Slam winner has to pay the consequences for his own choice although it is not a great advertisement for tennis. The British player, is in fact, participating at the Dubai Tennis Championship where Djokovic made the start to his 2022 season. 

Murray came from behind to beat Christopher O’Connell in three sets in his Dubai opener earlier on Monday. He is likely to face three-time major champion fourth seed Jannik Sinner in his next match.

“There is consequences to the decisions he’s made just now. Yeah, he obviously has to accept that. But I don’t think it’s great for tennis if our best player is not competing in the major events,” Murray said at the press conference after his first-round match.

“I’ve not seen him here. We exchanged a few messages while he was in Australia. I don’t agree with his decision,” Murray said. “It would be a lot easier for him if he were to get vaccinated. But I also didn’t like seeing him in the situation that he was in. I’ve known him since I was a child and I don’t like seeing that. It would be better for tennis if he were playing all of the Majors events,” he added.

Read – Novak Djokovic Willing to Miss Grand Slams over Vaccination Certificate

Novak Djokovic: Couldn’t pick a better place to kick start the season

World No.1 Novak Djokovic returned to the fray with a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 win over Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships. It was his first appearance at the tennis court after being deported from Australia which barred his quest to defend the Australian Open title. The top seed in Dubai saved all seven break points he served against the World No. 58. He will next take on the winner of the match between Russia’s Karen Khachanov or Australia’s Alex de Minaur in round two.

The Serbian megastar described his experience as pleasant and said that he couldn’t pick up a better even to get his season underway. He also thanked the crowd which turned out in large numbers to witness the proceedings and the legend take on the stage

“A pleasant experience,” he said after the match. 

“I couldn’t pick a better place to kick start the season – it was the best possible experience tonight.

“All in all, it’s a straight-set win so of course I have to be satisfied, especially after not playing for two and a half, almost three months,” he added. 

When asked if the chest thumping moment was to draw more from him or his team, he told Amazon Prime: “I’ll pass on that question.

“It’s always in the heat of the battle, the atmosphere where you need to get that energy out. Sometimes you are frustrated with yourself, your game, the things that are happening.”

“I’m very thankful for that because having the kind of an understanding at least, I would say, if not support from my peers and my colleagues, is very important to me because they are the people that I get to see sometimes more than my family. I care greatly about the relationships that we have,” he added. 

Djokovic has won the Dubai Tennis Championships five times. He, however, could lose his top ranking to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, runner-up of the Australian Open 2022, depending on their performances this week.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic wins first tennis match of the 2022 season at Dubai

Sportslumo Desk

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