After his COVID vaccine stance cost him a shot at his 21st major title in Australia, Novak Djokovic says he still won't get the shots ... saying he'll now opt out of tournaments with vax mandates going forward.
The tennis star broke it all down for BBC in an interview published Tuesday ... explaining that even after all the drama he went through at the Australian Open last month, he's still not going to get the vaccine.
In fact, he told the outlet if Wimbledon or the French Open or any other huge tourney implements similar vax rules ... he'll just now sit those out, saying he feels that strongly about the vaccine.
"Yes," he said, "that is the price that I'm willing to pay."
Djokovic explained he's not an anti-vaxxer -- saying, "I was never against vaccination, but I've always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body."
Djokovic essentially said he's not willing to get the COVID vaccine just yet because he just doesn't know what it might do to his body.
"Principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else," he said. "I'm trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can."
The comments are the first ones that Djokovic has made since he was famously kicked out of Australia due to his unvaxxed status.
Djokovic told the outlet he didn't fabricate anything when it came to his application for his visa ... and he added that he "completely" disagreed with the government's officials' decision to deport him from the country.
There had been some buzz that Djokovic could, potentially, get the vaccine following it all ... and while Novak didn't slam the door on one day getting it, he made it clear it ain't happening anytime soon.
"I was never against vaccination," he said. "I understand that globally, everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing, hopefully, an end soon to this virus."