Australian Open: Martin Pakula, Victoria’s sports minister, recommends tennis players to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to have the best chance of competing in the Grand Slam in Melbourne; “If I were an ATP or WTA player, I’d be getting vaccinated.”
Tennis players preparing to compete in the Australian Open should get vaccinated against COVID-19 to increase their chances of winning the Grand Slam, according to an Australian government official.
Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital, has mandated vaccinations for all professional athletes, but authorities have yet to specify whether athletes from other countries or jurisdictions in Australia are also required to vaccinate.
Martin Pakula, Victoria’s sports minister, urged athletes to leave no hesitation and get vaccinated against COVID-19 to give themselves the best chance of competing in the Grand Slam.
“That’s going to be the subject, I suspect, of discussion at national cabinet and amongst the federal cabinet,” he said.
“As for the rules that might apply around the Australian Open, specifically, we’re in discussions with Tennis Australia and the department of health about that.”
The WTA and ATP tournaments have both pushed players to get vaccinated, although several have expressed doubts, including Australian Open men’s winner Novak Djokovic, who is opposed to vaccine mandates.
Tennis Australia, which organises the Grand Slams, has not revealed any player arrangements for the forthcoming tournament in January.
However, fully immunised players are likely to have greater mobility and may be able to skip the country’s mandated 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
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