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Djokovic hopes COVID-19 vaccination will not be compulsory

World number one Novak Djokovic said Friday he hoped it would not become compulsory for players to be vaccinated against coronavirus and insisted he won’t reveal whether he will opt for a jab.

“I am still a supporter of freedom of choice,” Djokovic said after reaching the semi-finals of the ATP tournament in Belgrade.

It was in the Serbian capital last summer where Djokovic, as well as a number of other players, tested positive for Covid-19 after organising a controversial exhibition event.

On whether or not he will be vaccinated to guarantee entry to tournaments, 33-year-old Djokovic refused to commit himself.

“I will keep my decision to myself, I think it’s a private, intimate thing. I do not want to be labelled as someone who is for or against vaccination.”

“I hope it does not become compulsory.”

On court, Djokovic stayed on course for a third Belgrade title with a comfortable 6-1, 6-3 quarter-final win over compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic.

Djokovic, the 2009 and 2011 champion at the event which is played at a venue which carries his name, will face either Russia’s Aslan Karatsev or Gianluca Mager of Italy for a place in the final.

In their first meeting, Djokovic broke his 21-year-old opponent’s first service game and repeated the feat for a 5-1 lead in the opener.

His only blip was when he was broken as he served for the match at 5-2 in the second set.

However, it was a brief respite for world number 47 Kecmanovic who handed back the break in the next game allowing the top seed to complete a 75-minute win.

“I think personally I’m feeling very well on court, moving well, hitting the ball well and, of course, enjoying the home court advantage,” Djokovic said. 

“So I’m really excited to go out in the semi-finals on the court again tomorrow.”

Djokovic, who captured an 18th Grand Slam title in Australia in February, opened his clay court campaign in Monaco last week where he suffered a surprise last-16 loss to Britain’s Dan Evans.

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