Former world number one Andy Roddick is supporting the ATP in encouraging elite players to get vaccinated for the good of the sport.
Roddick, a US Open Winner and three-time Wimbeldon finalist, says vaccination is the only way that players can feel safe on the tour and in the locker room rather than relying on the inaccuracy of testing.
Tennis was hit hard in 2020, with travel and social distancing restrictions meaning the season was cancelled for five months. On returning, players have been subject to tight protocols regarding secure hotels, restricted bubbles and mandatory quarantines.
Many players have voiced their concerns about the consequences of this on their mental health, spending a long time away from their families and their tournament preparation.
Now both the ATP and WTA have spoken out to try to encourage players to get vaccinates with the ATP specifically saying players will be rewarded in return with less restriction and no need for quarantines.
And while some players, notably top ten players Diego Schwartzman, Andrey Rublev, Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka have voiced their concerns about the jab, Roddick thinks its the right thing for tennis.
“It’s the logical next step. Based on efficacy rates in the real world it’s less of a risk to have vaccinated players versus testing people and having false positives, false negatives, who knows what,” Roddick said on Tennis Channel Live.
“So, this is a logical next step and it seems fair. If I was a player and I was in the locker room, I would want to know who was vaccinated. I would feel safe around those people.
“And I’m sure there are still gonna be mask mandates at the tournaments, so I don’t really see the downside to this at all.”
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