Novak Djokovic news: Senior BBC figures fear the Serb’s interview was an anti-vax PR stunt

Novak Djokovic press conference

Some senior figures at the BBC have claimed that Novak Djokovic’s interview with Amol Rajan gave the anti-vax movement a big platform and are worried they’ll come to regret airing the revealing conversation with the tennis player last week.

The world No 1 spoke about how he’d refuse to take part in future Grand Slams and was quite happy to not win anymore in his lifetime if that meant he had to get the vaccine.

But there is argument within the Beeb over how the interview was carried out by Rajan as some think he didn’t push the 34-year-old hard enough on his views and appeared to be more like a close friend than a journalist.

There is also an ongoing dispute about how the interview originated as it’s said to have been organised with PR firm Freuds which brings into question it’s legitimacy of being an honest, intimate chat which is how it came across on screen.

Many viewers weren’t happy with the interview either as they thought he was given too much air time and coverage, to which the broadcasters replied: “It was of genuine significance and was of interest to our audience.”

Djokovic denied being part of the anti-vax movement but also remained strong in his view that he didn’t want to have the Covid-19 vaccine because he believes in the rights of the individual and claims he doesn’t know what it’ll do to his body and could affect his performance on court.

There is no guarantee that this attitude towards the vaccine will allow him to play in Grand Slam tournaments this year, but there is a lot of speculation that certain countries will let him in unvaccinated and others won’t.

It was suspected the six time Wimbledon champion would be able to play in the French Open in May after the health minister came out last month saying that athletes could compete at Roland Garros as long as they were either vaccinated or had recovered from the virus in the past six months, which applies to the Serbian.

But the head of President Macron’s political party, Christophe Castaner, said that Djokovic defending his title in France was “out of the question.”

However just like it was shown in Australia earlier this year, there’s not even a guarantee until he’s out on court playing in a match.

The 20 time Grand Slam champion was allowed to enter Dubai though and is currently playing in the Dubai Tennis Championships where he has made it through to the second round after beating 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 6-3.

Following his opening round crowds swarmed him as he walked back to the player garden, posing for selfies with fans and signing autographs as he went.

“I couldn’t ask for a better reception, I couldn’t be in a better place to restart the season,” the nine time Australian Open champion revealed after the tie.

“Obviously with everything that was happening, I didn’t know how it’s going to unfold for me.

“I would say I was equally excited and nervous like before any other match after a long break.”

Djokovic will either face Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur next in the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.