The growing distrust in the vaccines against COVID appears to have reached tennis, with four top players all saying they don’t want to take it.
Since the initial major outbreak last year, the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with tennis, and life in general, although vaccines have now been developed to counteract the virus’ potency.
The roll-out of those vaccines are in different stages around the world, but many countries have recently expressed concerns over potential side-affects, despite the scientific community insisting there is no danger to vaccinations.
Tennis itself has been badly hit by COVID, with prize money significantly reduced due to organisers not being able to sell tickets for their events.
Vaccination looks like the only realistic way for tennis to break that cycle right now and return to something more closely resembling reality, but remarkably there appears to be some real resistance within the sport itself.
“For the moment it doesn’t really give you any privilege,” Andrey Rublev, the world number eight, said. “You still have to be in the bubble.
“If you ask me if I can choose and I can have an option, I will not do it.”
Those concerns were echoed by another top-ten player, Diego Schwartzman, who said he will be open-minded for the sake of his family, but he is very unsure of getting vaccinated himself.
“If I have a chance in the future, I think I’m going to help my family to get one, but I really don’t love the vaccine. Never have. It’s not a tradition in my family to get any vaccine.
There was also deep suspicion on the WTA side too, with another two top players asked about – and rejecting – the idea of being vaccinate against COVID.
“So far I don’t really trust it,” Aryna Sabalenka said. “It’s tough to say, but I don’t really want it yet and I don’t want my family take it.
“If I will have to do it, then of course I have to do it because our life is a travel life.
“I have to speak with my doctors and see which one is better for me, but for now, I don’t really trust it.
“They just made it, like really quick, and there wasn’t enough time to test it and to see what can happen.
“So I think this is not enough time to make the good one.”
Similarly, world number five Elina Svitolina said the speed with which it was developed was the central point to her objections, adding she believes there is ‘no sense’ in getting vaccinated right now.
“Okay, you will reduce your symptoms if you get it, but still, there is a chance that you can get it.
“So for now it makes almost, like, no sense to do something that has been tested for such a short period of time. For me, I will probably wait for now.”
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