Novak Djokovic says he will not defend his Wimbledon or French Open titles if the tournaments require mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for competitors.

“Yes, that is the price that I’m willing to pay,” the world No.1 told the BBC when asked if he would sacrifice participating in the competitions.

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“I say that everybody has the right to choose or act or say or feel whatever is appropriate for them.”

The 20-times major champion is set to return to competitive action at an ATP tournament in Dubai next week for the first time since he was deported ahead of the Australian Open, the year’s first tennis grand slam.

Another win at Melbourne Park, where Djokovic has won nine titles, could have taken him to a men’s record 21 major wins.

But instead it was his long-time rival Rafael Nadal who nudged ahead by lifting the trophy.