While several players have been stating in Miami they will not be immunising themselves against COVID, the ATP and WTA have responded by confirming that they are recommending and encouraging everyone to get the coronavirus vaccine once this becomes available to those on the Tours.
ATP recommends COVID-19 vaccination based on scientific evidence supporting the health benefits and protection provided. In parallel, we remain in support of distribution tiers set forth around the world that prioritise those who need the vaccine the most. We are working with consultants in infectious disease and virology to evaluate vaccination strategies and to prepare for when vaccines are made widely available to our player group. ATP Statement
Amongst the skeptics are Andrey Rublev, Diego Schwartzman, Aryna Sabalenka and Elina Svitolina, all of whom have publicly voiced their concerns over Covid-19 vaccination, saying they will not be in the front of queue to get jabs when it is offered to the players.
“So far I don’t really trust it,” Sabalenka said, while Rublev admitted ‘If you ask me, if I can choose, and I can have an option, I will not do it’.
In response to this skepticism, the WTA has vowed to educate players on the benefits of getting the vaccine, but stated it is a personal decision that they will respect, implying it will not become mandatory.
“The WTA believes in and will encourage everyone to get a vaccine,” a statement read.
“This will assist in protecting the individual that has received the vaccine, those who have not been vaccinated, and allow our world to move back to a place of normalcy that is desired by all.
“The WTA, with the full assistance of our medical advisors from the Mayo Clinic, have been and will continue to educate our players on the various vaccines along with the benefits of getting vaccinated.
“This being said, the WTA will not be requiring players to get a vaccine as this is a personal decision, and one which we respect.”
The ATP also issued a response to say that they will urge players and those involved in the sport to get the vaccine once it becomes available.
“ATP recommends COVID-19 vaccination based on scientific evidence supporting the health benefits and protection provided,” it said. “In parallel, we remain in support of distribution tiers set forth around the world that prioritise those who need the vaccine the most.
“We are working with consultants in infectious disease and virology to evaluate vaccination strategies and to prepare for when vaccines are made widely available to our player group.
“In addition, ATP Medical Services Team is working alongside other International Sports Leagues and external consultants to develop best practices that work for tennis as a global sport.
“Any updates and next steps concerning vaccination options for players and other credentialed individuals will be communicated in due course.”