Sports Prospect of no jab, no visa for Australian Open tennis stars

09:41  19 october  2021
09:41  19 october  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Unvaccinated tennis stars are unlikely to get visas to play in the Australian Open , a local official warned Tuesday, throwing defending champion Novak Djokovic's participation into serious doubt. Victoria state premier Dan Andrews said he expected no exceptions from Australia 's Covid-19 "And if they did get a visa they would probably have to quarantine for a couple of weeks, when no other players have to." World number one Djokovic has publicly voiced opposition to vaccines and refused to say whether he is vaccinated against the coronavirus. He has won three back-to-back Australian

MELBOURNE—If the word Russia is never far from anyone’s lips in Washington D.C. these days, the same can be said of those of us involved in the tennis world that has been gathering at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Obvious or not, so many of the stories emerging from this year’s first Slam have a Russian As the first week drew to a close, the following results were hogging the headlines: Amanda Anisimova’s crushing 6-3, 6-2 upset of No 11 seed Aryna Sabalenka from neighboring Belarus. Amanda is 17 and the youngest player left in the draw after three rounds. She was born in New

Tennis players who haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccination are unlikely to get a visa to enter the country for the Australian Open in Melbourne in January, according to the political leader of the state which hosts the season-opening major.

  Prospect of no jab, no visa for Australian Open tennis stars © Provided by The Canadian Press

Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews has already introduced a vaccine mandate for professional athletes competing in domestic sports leagues and people working in some industries including health. On Tuesday, he increased the pressure on tennis players traveling from abroad.

“I don’t think any unvaccinated tennis player is going to get a visa to come into this country,” Andrews said. “If they did get a visa, they’d probably have to quarantine for a couple of weeks when no other players will have to.

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Visa requirements for Australian passport holders are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Australia entering with an Australian passport.

The 2021 Australian Open was a Grand Slam tennis tournament that took place at Melbourne Park, on 8–21 February 2021. It was the 109th edition of the Australian Open , the 53rd in the Open Era

"Professional sport is part of that authorized worker list and they have to be double-dose vaccinated.”

Australia is preparing to re-open its international borders for the first time in more than 18 months, but it'll be a gradual, state-by-state process starting next month and will depend on vaccination rates across the country. Fully vaccinated people will have fewer restrictions in Australia than those who are not.

The vaccination debate has been ongoing in tennis since international competition started re-emerging following a global shutdown last year.

Some players, including men’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic, have advocated that the decision to get the vaccine should be a personal choice. Others, including Andy Murray, have said it should be mandated for the good of the majority.

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The Australian Open Series is a selection of tennis tournaments held annually prior to the start of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia . As of 2020, there are five official Australian Open Series tournaments held across Australia in preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year

Backlash has grown against 'whinging' quarantined Australian Open stars as Nick Kyrgios branded Novak Djokovic 'a tool' for demanding that strict Covid quarantine rules be relaxed for players. Kyrgios also branded Vanessa Sierra - girlfriend of Bernard Tomic - 'ridiculous' for complaining that she had Organisers of the tournament had already been facing criticism for flying in tennis stars from around the world to take part, with the athletes' complaints about quarantine measures worsening the backlash. Seven people among the more than 1,000 who travelled to largely coronavirus-free Australia for the

At the U.S. Open, which ended Sept. 12, spectators had to show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to attend matches, although players weren’t required to get a shot.

Victoria Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion and three-time runner-up at the U.S. Open, thought that sent a mixed message. She reached the U.S. Open final in 2020, when there were no fans allowed.

“To me that’s a bit bizarre that fans have to be vaccinated and players are not,” Azarenka said. “So I think that in my opinion, it’s inevitable that it will be mandated at some point, like other leagues are doing.”

Both the men's and the women's tours are recommending all players get vaccinated but so far have not enforced it. Just before the U.S. Open, roughly half of the elite male and female players were vaccinated.

Ahead of the Australian Open earlier this year, all players had to quarantine for two weeks and be regularly tested under Australia's strict regulations on COVID-19 measures.

Most were allowed a limited time to practice, but any who tested positive or we deemed to be close contacts of a positive case — which in some cases meant simply being on the same charter flight — had to do a hard lockdown. Those players weren't allowed to leave their hotel rooms.

Melbourne, which hosts season-opening Formula One Grand Prix races, the richest horse race in the southern hemisphere and the biggest football crowd in Australia, has either barred crowds or shifted sports events interstate during months of lockdown in recent months.


More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

John Pye, The Associated Press

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