Novak Djokovic vaccination theory sends internet into a spin

Novak Djokovic (pictured left) filming a concert at SummerStage New York and (pictured right) greeting a fan at SummerStage.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) was photographed at the SummerStage concert in Central Park, which has caused speculation over whether he has been vaccinated since entry requirement for the majority of the areas involved proof. (Images: @DanneGeeNYC/@w42st)

Speculation has been running rife after images emerged of World No.1 Novak Djokovic at a concert in Central Park, which had a requirement for attendees to be fully vaccinated.

Djokovic became the centre of speculation on the weekend after Victoria included professional athletes in a vaccination mandate that will require about 1.25 million "authorised workers" to have two Covid-19 shots by the end of November.

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This could prompt the world's top tennis players that aren't vaccinated to get the Covid-19 vaccine or skip the Australian Open grand slam.

And the biggest name that prompted speculation, with his vaccination status unknown, is nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic.

Before the mandate, Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley reportedly urged the Victorian government to hold off on a vaccine mandate for athletes, for fear it could turn away top tier players such as Djokovic.

But now, fans are wondering whether the World No.1 is vaccinated after images emerged of Djokovic ahead of the US Open.

In the image posted on August 25, Djokovic is seen greeting a young fan in Central Park for SummerStage concerts.

Djokovic is carrying a guitar and appears to be attending the concerts at the world famous park.

However, to enter the majority of SummerStage attendees needed to be fully vaccinated.

In another image Djokovic appears to be filming a performance.

The photo, taken from a fan, was retweeted by the SummerStage account.

However, this doesn't prove Djokovic has had the vaccine.

Djokovic may have attended the concerts at Marcus Garvey Park or Rhodey Island, which required a negative test 72 hours ahead of attendance.

But, Djokovic did appear to be photographed in Central Park.

Last year, Djokovic made his position on the vaccine known.

“I feel like that should be always a personal decision, whether you want to get vaccinated or not. So I’m supportive of that,” Djokovic previously stated.

“So whether someone wants to get a vaccine or not, that’s completely up to them. I hope that it stays that way."

In April, 2020, Djokovic stated: "Personally I'm opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel."

Djokovic went on to lose the US Open men's final to Daniil Medvedev and delay his quest for a men's record-breaking 21 grand slam titles.

Australian Open concerns over vaccine mandate

On the weekend, reports emerged about Tiley's discussions with the Victorian Government.

Friday's announcement came as no surprise to Tiley who, according to The Age, had been lobbying the government against the move for fear it would discourage the likes of Djokovic from attending.

The Age reported anonymous sources with knowledge of the conversation, who said Tiley had made the case against the move before relenting as the likes of the AFL and MCC voiced their support behind closed doors.

“Tiley said we won’t get star players and the state government effectively said ‘suck it up’,” the source said.

“They capitulated.”

A Victorian Government spokesperson told Yahoo Sport Australia that requirements for cricket players and Australian Open participants has yet to be determined.

“Vaccination requirements for international cricket players and Australian Open participants have not yet been settled," a spokesperson said.

“National Cabinet and the Commonwealth will set rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated international arrivals, consistent with the National Plan.”

“Other vaccination requirements for the Australian Open and other events will be considered by Public Health as required.”

“We continue to work with sporting bodies on arrangements for staging upcoming events.”

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