Stefanos Tsitsipas won’t get Covid vaccination until it’s mandatory for tennis players
Stefanos Tsitsipas has surprised the tennis world, stating he would only get the Covid-19 vaccine if it was made mandatory for all professional tennis players to do so.
While the ATP tour has encouraged players to get vaccinated, the world No. 3 is clearly still reluctant to do so.
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Tsitsipas revealed he hasn’t even received his first dose of a vaccine yet and is waiting for it to be mandated for all players on tour.
“No one has told me anything. No one has made it a mandatory thing to be vaccinated,” he told reporters when asked if he would attempt to get vaccinated while competing in America ahead of the US Open.
“At some point I will have to, I’m pretty sure about it, but so far it hasn’t been mandatory to compete, so I haven’t done it, no.”
Tsitsipas could get a Covid-19 vaccine in the US if he wanted to. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
The 23-year-old’s hesitancy to receive the Covid-19 vaccine was slammed by many in the global tennis community.
Leading tennis coach Brad Gilbert, who guided Andrew Agassi and Andy Roddick to grand slam titles, labelled Tsitsipas’ stance on the vaccine “very selfish”.
Stefanos Tsitsipas says he has not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19, and would only do so if vaccination becomes mandatory to compete on tour.#CincyTennis
strange why u would want to travel around the world 🌎 not having it, is very selfish https://t.co/xH8dc50abB
It would be wise to be a bit more diligent in picking the protagonists of information and awareness campaigns. The wrong choice can eventually backfire. Tsitsipas, who previously starred in the country's "Stay Home" campaign, is now a vocal ambassador for vaccine hesitancy. https://t.co/1cAPqDnynq
Some fans of the Greek superstar pointed out it was bizarre he was hesitant to get the vaccine, despite being the face of Greece’s “Stay Home” campaign last year during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 vaccine has been a controversial issue among top tennis players, notably Novak Djokovic.
In April, the world no. 1 said he hoped the Covid-19 would not become mandatory for players to compete and he has also refused to answer questions about his own vaccination status.
However, fellow 20-time grand slam winners Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have expressed the importance of vaccination in the fight to get out of the pandemic.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is the latest tennis star to express reluctance to get vaccinated. Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP
“The only way out of this nightmare is vaccination. Our responsibility as human beings is to accept it,” Nadal said.
“I know there is a percentage of people who will suffer from side effects, but the effects of the virus are worse.”
Tsitsipas will play his first match at the Cincinnati Masters against rising American star Sebastian Korda on Wednesday (AEST) as he finetunes his preparation for the US Open which begins at the end of this month, where he will be looking to make a deep run.
He has had an inconsistent year at grand slam level — defeating Nadal at the French Open on his way to his maiden grand slam final, before suffering a shock first-round loss at Wimbledon.
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