Novak Djokovic has said he would rather miss Grand Slams than be forced to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The world's No. 1 tennis player told the BBC on Tuesday that he was not against vaccines but supported an individual's right to choose.
"The principles of decision-making on my body are more important than any title or anything else," Djokovic said.
He distanced himself from anti-vaccination campaigners and did not rule out getting vaccinated in the future.
"I was never against vaccination," he said, adding that he received vaccines as a child.
Djokovic disappointed with Australian deportation
Djokovic was also asked whether he would be willing to miss tournaments such as the French Open and Wimbledon over his stance on the vaccine.
"Yes, that is the price that I'm willing to pay," he said.
The 20-time major champion is set to play in an ATP tournament in Dubai next week.
Djokovic missed his chance to improve on his nine Australian Open wins when he was deported over vaccinations issues on the eve of the tournament last month.
"I was really sad and disappointed with the way it all ended for me in Australia," he said.
"The reason why I was deported from Australia was because the minister for immigration used his discretion to cancel my visa based on his perception that I might create some anti-vax sentiment in the country or in the city, which I completely disagree with."
lo/dj (AP, AFP, Reuters)