Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece serves against Casper Ruud of Norway during a quarter-final match on Day Five of the National Bank Open at Aviva Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo: Vaughn Ridley/AFP
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece serves against Casper Ruud of Norway during a quarter-final match on Day Five of the National Bank Open at Aviva Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo: Vaughn Ridley/AFP

Stefanos Tsitsipas refuses to take Covid-19 vaccine unless it becomes mandatory

By Reuters Time of article published Aug 17, 2021

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ATHENS – World number three Stefanos Tsitsipas said he would only get the Covid-19 vaccine if it became mandatory to compete in tennis.

While the men's ATP Tour has publicly encouraged players to get vaccinated, the 23-year-old Greek is among those who still have reservations.

"No one has told me anything. No one has made it a mandatory thing to be vaccinated," he told reporters on Monday (August 16), when asked if he would seek a vaccine while competing in the US.

"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," added Tsitsipas, who received a first-round bye in the Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati.

He reached the French Open final in June but suffered a shock, first-round exit at Wimbledon, where he told reporters he found it challenging to live and compete in the Covid-19 "bubble."

The Covid-19 vaccine has divided opinion within tennis.

World number one Novak Djokovic said in April he hoped the Covid-19 vaccine would not become mandatory for players to compete and has declined to answer questions regarding his own vaccination status.

However, fellow 20-time Grand Slam winners Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal feel athletes need to play their part to get life back to some form of normality.

Spectators will not be allowed to attend qualifying rounds at this month's US Open due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) said last week.

The USTA previously said it would allow full fan capacity for the main part of the tournament.

Tsitsipas recently reached third in the world rankings for the first time and he says it was a great feeling to overtake Nadal with only Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev now above him in the rankings.

The Greek said winning a Grand Slam would be more important to him than reaching number one in the rankings but he added reaching the summit was also one of his targets.

Tsitsipas is due to play in the second round of the Cincinnati Open on Wednesday (August 18).

Reuters

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