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65% of ATP players are vaccinated; life on Tour in 2022 will be more restrictive for those who are not

The ATP has issued an update on the likely conditions players will face in 2022, adding that it will support countries who mandate vaccination

Novak Djokovic, ATP Cup 2021 Novak Djokovic at the ATP CUP © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

After the leaked email from the WTA to its players about what the Covid-19 protocols might be like for the Australian Open in January, now comes news that the ATP Tour is telling its players that life in 2022 will be much harder for those who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

In an email to players and coaches, seen by Tennis Majors, the ATP says it continues to “strongly recommend” its players be fully vaccinated, based on scientific evidence of the benefits, not least to the wider playing group. And while the ATP says it will not be making vaccination a mandatory requirement on the ATP Tour, it has told players that where governments or local public health authorities say players must be fully vaccinated, it will support that decision. Players should also expect many countries and airlines to make vaccination mandatory in the future, it says.

“We hope this update helps inform any decisions players are looking to make related to vaccination in the coming weeks,” the ATP said.

In a separate communication to Tennis Majors on Monday, the ATP confirmed that approximately 65 percent of players are now fully vaccinated. While Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas – the world’s top three players – have all declined to reveal their vaccination status, it is understood that many more players are set to get vaccinated in the coming weeks in order to be eligible for the Australian Open, where government officials have previously suggested only vaccinated players may be allowed to compete.

According to the email from the ATP to its players, unvaccinated players will find life on Tour – both on the ATP Tour and the ATP Challenger Tour – relatively more restrictive in a variety of ways.

  1. Unvaccinated players will be subject to more testing than their vaccinated counterparts.
  2. Unvaccinated players may have to contribute to the cost of the additional testing.
  3. Vaccinated players will continue to be exempt from being called a close contact when someone close to them tests positive.
  4. Unvaccinated players who test positive for Covid-19 before an event, or who are deemed a close contact of someone who tests positive – and have to withdraw – will not receive “prize money compensation”.
  5. The cost for isolation after a positive Covid-19 test will not be paid by the ATP.
  6. Transport for unvaccinated players may be increasingly restricted.

Just like the leaked WTA email about the Australian Open, the ATP says it will give further updates about the first Grand Slam of 2022 as soon as protocols are confirmed.

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