Novak Djokovic ’s wife Jelena launched a staunch defence of her husband amid anti-vaccine claims surrounding him. The Serbian’s family were overjoyed as he successfully won the Wimbledon title once again and claimed his 21st major title in the process.
He defeated Nick Kyrgios in four sets on Centre Court to seal one of the most important Grand Glam wins of his career, given he will be unable to compete at the US Open starting next month. The former world number one is still refusing to take the coronavirus vaccine and it remains a requirement in order to enter the United States.
This was explained by tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg who said it would be the Serbian’s final major of the year due to his decision to remain un-jabbed, before labelling him an “anti-vax posterboy”. Jelena, Novak’s wife of eight years, responded in anger over the remarks.
“Just making sure that it is noted that YOU tagged him as an antivax poster boy for whatever reason you have. He simply responded what HIS body choice is,” she wrote. This prompted Rothenberg to respond: “I understand that it’s his choice, but I also am saying that his decision to be so firmly against the vaccines that it limits his ability to play tournaments has made him, unwittingly or not, into a huge icon of the anti-vax movement. I saw this very clearly during Australia.”
Jelena continued to stand by her husband and accused the reporter of being ‘judgmental’. “You are creating a very judgmental narrative that fits your agenda,” she added. “He is simply choosing what’s best for his body. If he is not playing because of making that choice, he is fine with it.” The American replied that he had been let down by the 35-year-old for his stance against the Covid vaccine.
“I can accept judgmental,” he continued. “I believe every citizen, especially public figures, had a duty to act responsibly with public health actions and messaging during the pandemic, and as someone who has covered Novak as the influential champion he is, he repeatedly disappointed me deeply. Is that judgmental? Perhaps. But this stuff is important.” Jelena then fired back: “Thank you for sharing your beliefs. I hope you don’t get judged for them. Or become a poster boy for hatred and bullying. You never know. You are also an influential figure, please don’t continuously disappoint. Unless that’s your role.”
US immigration officials recently dropped the requirement for all incoming passengers to return a negative Covid test before boarding a plane, but maintained the need for proof of vaccination to be presented on arrival. “There are no plans to relax American immigration rules that require incoming travellers to have undergone vaccination for Covid,” per a report from The Telegraph.
During Wimbledon Djokovic maintained a strict stance against getting the Covid vaccine. “I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated so the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter United States or exemption,” he said.
“I’ll wait hopefully for some good news from USA because I would really love to go there. If that doesn’t happen, then I have to see what the schedule will look like.”