Andy Murray has admitted compulsory Covid-19 vaccines for tennis stars could put the sport on collision course with Novak Djokovic.
The world No.1 had backtracked from his strong anti-vaxxer views earlier in year.
But the Wimbledon champion, who caught coronavirus in June, told the New York Times in August: “My issue here with vaccines is if someone is forcing me to put something in my body. That I don’t want. For me that’s unacceptable.”
Asked if tournaments should insist on players getting vaccinated, Murray said: “I think probably that should be the case. I would hope that all the players would be willing to do that for the good of the sport – providing everything has proved to be safe, clinical trials and everything have been done and there are not any significant side effects.
“With Novak Djokovic, I guess it would be difficult. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the ATP and the ITF decide what their position is going to be on that. But I’m confident that players would be into it if it meant the Tour going back to normality.”
Murray also called for the ATP to be more “pro-active” following the response to domestic abuse allegations against Alex Zverev. The German played in the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 last week.
“Obviously tennis doesn’t have a domestic abuse policy so that is obviously something we as a sport should be looking into,” he said.
Murray said he is targeting a third Olympics medal in Tokyo next summer as the Scot insisted: “I haven’t forgotten how to play tennis.”
The former world No.1 ended his 2020 season because of a back muscle injury after three heavy defeats – and stinging criticism from Mats Wilander after taking a wildcard at the French Open.
But Murray, 33, is now back in full training and looking forward to 2021 – whenever the season starts.
And the double Olympic champion, who carried the Team GB flag in Rio and would qualify for an wildcard as a past winner, said: “I would love to compete in the Olympics again, to get another opportunity to do that would be huge for me. It would be in the top few priorities for the year. Obviously I’d love to get the opportunity to play at Wimbledon again, same with the Aussie Open, and then, if I’m fit and well, I’d be pumped to go and try and win another medal in Tokyo.”
“If I’m fit, I will be competing – I haven’t forgotten how to play tennis. I think next year I’m going to be alright. I’m really motivated.”
World No.121 Murray had been planning to spend Christmas Down Under preparing for the Australian Open but players are now banned from arriving before January 1.
He will not travel if there is a strict two-week quarantine and no warm-up events but the five-time finalist reckons the first Grand Slam of the year will be delayed.
“I think that would be the best case scenario now,” he said. “I’ll go as soon as I can.”
Andy Murray wears AMC, a premium tennis clothing brand, created and designed by Andy and Castore