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Unvaccinated tennis players have been given approval to participate in January’s Australian Open Grand Slam event. Participating athletes who are unvaccinated will still need to go through a 14-day quarantine prior to the event, but they will be able to compete without a vaccine. The tournament had previously planned to require all participating athletes to be vaccinated.
“We are optimistic that we can hold the Australian Open as close to pre-pandemic conditions as possible,” said Tennis Australia, the governing body for the sport in Australia, per msn.com.
Unvaccinated athletes will be able to take part in next year's Australian Open after undergoing 14 days of quarantine, the WTA Tour told its players, according to an e-mail leaked to U.S. media https://t.co/PChZEM4OUM pic.twitter.com/HRPsBsoUqb
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 24, 2021
The news comes on the heels of the world’s No.1 player Novak Djokovic refusing to comment on his vaccination status, leaving many to speculate that he is not vaccinated and would be unable to compete.
“I won’t disclose whether I am vaccinated or not,” Djokovic told Sasa Ozmo.
“Too many people allow themselves the freedom to ask and then to judge,” Djokovic continued. “Whatever you say—I have, I have not, maybe, I do not know or I am thinking about it—they will use it against you. There is excessive speculation, from the media as well, which bothers me a lot.”
The decision to allow unvaccinated players to participate in the Open was discovered by way of a leaked WTA email sent to all players on the WTA tour and subsequently obtained by journalist Ben Rothenberg. The email states that the WTA aimed to “clear up false and misleading information” about the Australian Open.
This is a major victory for freedom for the first major of the tennis season. The Australian Open opens on January 17th.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF