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I don’t hate Djokovic, legendary Martina Navratilova says

Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova. Photo by Eurosport
  • WTA legend Martina Navratilova doesn’t hate Novak Djokovic
  • The 18-time Grand Slam champion recently came under fire from Djokovic’s fans
  • She says that she only disagrees with him about the vaccination and nothing else

WTA legend Martina Navratilova doesn’t hate Novak Djokovic as many people think.

She is known for speaking her mind. Her vocal nature about Djokovic’s unwillingness to acquire the COVID-19 vaccine saw her labelled a hater.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion recently came under fire from Djokovic’s legion of fans for failing to defend the Serbian’s decision about vaccination.

Recently, in response to a fan question, Navratilova said that ‘hater’ tag is unwarranted because she always supports Djokovic.

She explained that she only disagreed with him about the vaccination and nothing else. If anything, she is his biggest supporter.

Martina Navratilova.

Martina Navratilova. Photo by CNN

“I didn’t change my attitude towards Novak at all. I agree with him on most things, I disagree with him completely on one. Anything else you got? Claiming your bodily autonomy is fine. But you cannot impose that on a country, it just doesn’t work that way. It’s all good,” Navratilova tweeted.

Navratilova’s ‘biggest hater’ label comes amid an undying debate on his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19. He missed the US Open due to his unvaccinated status.

US Open officials said no one would be permitted to enter the country and take part in the competition of they are unvaccinated.

Even fans from outside the US who flew to New York for the slam had to provide documentation proving complete vaccination to be allowed in.

There were petitions by a Serbian Caucus to President Joe Biden to allow Djokovic into the US Open but these calls went unanswered. His fans expressed disappointment through a peaceful protest over his absence when the tournament kicked off.

He expressed his regret on Twitter, saying: “Sadly, I will not be able to travel to [New York] this time for the US Open.

“Thank you for your messages of love and support. Good luck to my fellow players! I’ll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!”

His battle against vaccination started in January following his deportation by the Australian government. The world No.6 had arrived in Melbourne hoping to play at the Australian Open under a vaccination exemption.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic visa remains cancelled. Photo/Tennis Australia Open

However, tournament officials couldn’t hear any of this. Coupled with mixed visa issues, he was detained for several days before being deported to Serbia where he got a heroic welcome in Belgrade.

Speaking for the first time after his deportation from Australia, he said he would only get vaccinated if he decides to.

He told BBC in an interview that he is making certain decisions about his body and it is not necessarily that he is opposed to the vaccine.

Djokovic was clear that he would gladly stay off the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open if they forced him to get vaccinated. He said he has a responsibility to fight for freedom of what goes to his body.

True to his words, he missed the French Open and the US Open. He clinched a 21st Grand Slam at Wimbledon but failed to make the 22nd run at Flushing Meadows. He is hopeful the 2023 season will be better for him.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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