Vaccine Requirements for 2022 Australian Open

Elizabeth Wagner - 12 Dec 2021

Craig Tiley, the current Chief Executive Officer of Tennis Australia has confirmed that players will need to be fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus COVID-19 to participate in 2022’s Open. This means that, while players like Asheligh Barty, Garbiñe Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova, Barbora Krejcikova, Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas are on the entry list, this does not automatically equate to the fact that they’ll be playing.

Tiley explained that the entry list recently published is not final, it simply reflects the names of players who have not officially withdrawn themselves from the upcoming event. He said that it should not be viewed as information on exactly who will be playing next year and that this information will only be available several weeks on.

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No Word From Djokovic

Tiley revealed that Novak Djokovic has not confirmed either that he has received all his shots or that he has received medical exemption. In fact, the nine-time champion’s father has gone so far as to say that his son would probably skip the tournament unless these vaccination rules get relaxed. Djokovic has said that he’s not ready to answer any questions about his possible participation in the AO yet, and, after the recent Davis Cup, went so far as to say he’s not sure when he’ll be back on the courts at all.

Nonetheless, Tiley reiterated in a recent interview that either a double dose of the Pfizer vaccine or the single Johnson & Johnson will be necessary.

The only condition that Djokovic or anyone could make use of to take part without proof of this vaccination would be if they received proper exemption from authorities in Australia. This, explained Tiley, would need to meet the guidelines set by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and get approved by an independent panel of medical specialists. They would receive a blind copy of the request and proceed from there, making the final call.

Players Not Automatically Eligible for Exemption

Tiley stated that Tennis players were not necessarily entitled to any sort of special exemption and that they would be subject to precisely the same conditions as anyone else crossing Australian borders. The CEO confirmed that, as things currently stand, no one has received exemption from vaccination requirements that he’s aware of.

Tiley revealed that roughly 95% of the Tennis community is now properly vaccinated. He added that, a little over a month ago, this figure was a mere 50%, so this is a marked improvement.

The Australian Open will begin on Monday the 17th of January 2022, in Melbourne.

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