Novak Djokovic felt like the "villain of the world" when he put his tennis career on the line by refusing to get a Covid vaccination.
The 36-year-old Grand Slam icon was booted out of Australia in January 2022 and unable to compete in the Australian and US Open that year.
During an interview with fellow tennis star John McEnroe for his McEnroe’s Places TV show, Djokovic explained his stance on the jabs, saying: “I was never anti-vax. I was always pro-freedom-to-choose.
"And that’s something that we took really for granted. I didn’t feel like a lot of people had a choice, really. [I felt like I was] a villain of the world."
READ MORE: Moderna awkwardly give 'shot of the day' to unvaccinated Novak Djokovic after US Open win
Djokovic has previously insisted he was never against people getting the jab, saying: "I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body."
The Serbian has since returned to tennis and won four further Grand Slam titles to grab the overall record for male players.
His US Open triumph last week was his 24th, sitting two ahead of Rafael Nadal and four ahead of the retired Roger Federer.
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During his US Open final triumph over Daniil Medvedev, Djokovic was given an awkward award on the big screens.
Moderna, one of the biggest producers for the Covid-19 vaccine, had sponsored the 'shot of the day' award.
The unvaccinated Djokovic of course got it, with the logo coming up on screen while he was sat in his chair taking a rest.
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"It obviously means the world to me," said Djokovic on winning the tournament to take his career winnings to £140million.
"I'm really living my childhood dream to compete at the highest level in this sport, which has given me and my family so much from difficult circumstances.
"I never thought I would be here but the last couple of years I thought I had a shot at history. Why not grab it when it is presented?"
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