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ATP Tour to offer players incentives to take COVID vaccination, document suggests

US Open tennis - covid vaccination incentive

2019 US Open Tennis Tournament- Day Fourteen. A panoramic view of Arthur Ashe Stadium during the Rafael Nadal of Spain imatch against Danill Medvedev of Russia in the Men's Singles Final on Arthur Ashe Stadium during the 2019 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8th, 2019 in Flushing, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

The ATP appear set to incentivise getting a COVID vaccination for their players after updating their Tour protocols.

Players who show documentation to prove they have been vaccinated against the virus will now still have to take an initial test, although they may be spared the quarantine.

It comes after players last week, most notably top ten members Andrey Rublev and Diego Schwartzman expressed distrust about the vaccinations currently available, as well as some prominent WTA players.

Neither Tour has plans to make vaccines mandatory at this stage, but players who have been immunised will be offered perks.

"Persons who have fully completed the COVID vaccination process may be exempt from quarantine after their initial PCR test on arrival to the tournament," the updated ATP protocol says.

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"Persons who have completed both doses of two dose vaccines (ie Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca) or a single dose (Johnson and Johnson) and have submitted proof to ATP for entry into the ATP Testing Exemption List would be eligible."

Life inside quarantine and bio-secure bubbles has been a regular source of frustration for players over the last six months, with Benoit Paire especially scathing.

He is far from alone in that. Stefanos Tsitsipas has also said the increased isolation is proving detrimental to his mental health.

Dramatically reduced prize money has also been a product of the pandemic, but it remains to be seen how, and when, the global vaccination efforts affect that since every country is at a different stage of the rollout.

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