Unvaccinated players could play Australian Open after two-week quarantine (leak)

A leaked email from the WTA Tour to its players suggests that unvaccinated players could play the Australian Open after undergoing a two-week hard quarantine

A tennis player practices with a racket inside a room at a hotel where players are undergoing mandatory quarantine in advance of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, January 21, 2021

There may be some good news for tennis players who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 as a leaked email from the WTA Tour to its players suggests that unvaccinated players could be allowed to play the Australian Open in January after undergoing a two-week hard quarantine.

The issue of unvaccinated players entering Australia for the first Grand Slam of the 2022 season had become a hot topic in recent weeks.

Victorian government officials had earlier stated that it would be likely foreign athletes, including tennis players coming for the Australian Open, would require to be double vaccinated before entering the state.

As per the leaked email which was posted by tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg on his Twitter account, the WTA tells its players that players who have been vaccinated can enter Australia after December 1 and have a negative test within 72 hours of departure would not require to undergo any quarantine.

For the players who are unvaccinated, they can enter Australia after December 1 and would also need to have a negative test 72 hours prior to departure. But these players would need to undergo a hard two-week quarantine upon arrival and also be subject to regular testing thereafter.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic, who has been chasing his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title, is among the group of players who have refused to comment on their vaccination status, creating speculation if he will defend his title in 2022.

The email also says that the issue of close contacts was not “100% resolved yet” and further updates were expected later in the week; and that the 2022 Australian Open qualifying event, which had been moved to the Middle East in 2021, will be held in Melbourne itself.

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