Novak Djokovic has revealed plans to return to Australia as he admitted he was selfish to have attended a photoshoot after testing positive for Covid-19.
‘I want to come back to Australia in the future and to play on Rod Laver Arena again,’ Djokovic told Serbian national TV (RTS).
‘A lot of professional and personal beautiful things happened to me there. Despite all this, I have a great connection with Australia.’
The tennis star also admitted he was ‘selfish’ when he attended an interview and photoshoot with French newspaper L’Equipe, the day after being advised he had tested positive to Covid last December.
‘I admit that it was selfish what I’ve done by attending the interview with L’Equipe. My mistake which I own,’ he said.
‘I understand that not all people will forgive me and I understand the critics.’
Novak Djokovic admits he was selfish to attend a photoshoot after testing positive for Covid-19
Djokovic said he did not have regrets about his controversial attempt to play the Australian Open.
‘I don’t regret it. I don’t know if things would have been different if I hadn’t posted that.’
The 20-time grand slam winner said he had liked his chances at this year’s Australian open.
‘Out of respect to Rafael Nadal who won and to all the players, I don’t dare to say that I would’ve won, but I think I had a good chance.’
He said he was surprised to have received support from Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, who had previously been highly critical of Djokovic’s attitude to Covid-19.
‘Kyrgios surprised me pleasantly,’ he said.
‘I thanked him and all the others who stood up for me.
Djokovic said he was surprised to receive support for his predicament in Melbourne in January from Nick Kyrgios. Pictured: Djokovic leaving the Park Hotel in Melbourne
‘I received a lot of messages privately from some of the players, but they didn’t want to speak publicly. I understand it, the situation was complicated.’
As he did in an earlier BBC interview, where he confirmed he had not received a Covid vaccine, the Serbian again tried to explain his objections to getting the jab.
‘As an elite athlete, I want to triple check everything that enters my body. If something changes for 0.5 per cent in my body, I feel it.
‘I am just cautious before making any decisions. I will live with the consequences (of the decision not to take the vaccine).’
Djokovic was deported from Australia a day before the Australian Open began after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his discretionary powers to cancel his visa.
He had come to Australia believing he had a medical exemption to play.
‘I am just cautious before making any decisions. I will live with the consequences (of the decision not to take the vaccine)’ Djokovic told Serbian television
Djokovic told the BBC that he was planning not to come to Australia but was then told he could possibly get a medical exemption after he tested positive to the virus a month before the tournament.
He insisted an error in one of his travel documents to enter Australia was unintentional.
‘I was really sad and disappointed with the way it all ended for me in Australia. It wasn’t easy,’ Djokovic said.
Djokovic also claimed he would forgo further grand slam titles rather than get the Covid jab.
‘I understand not being vaccinated today, I’m unable to travel to most of the tournaments at the moment,’ he said.
‘That is the price that I’m willing to pay.’
Novak Djokovic is pictured at the Expo 2020 world fair in Dubai, where he will play the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships because the United Arab Emirates does not require visitors to be vaccinated
Novak Djokovic is currently in Dubai to play the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, a tournament he is able to compete in as the United Arab Emirates does not require visitors to be vaccinated.
It will be the first tournament he has competed in since his visa cancellation and deportation from Australia.
Djokovic and wife Jelena were seen visiting the Expo 2020 world fair in Dubai ahead of the tournament.