Torn between a love of the game, public health fears and discovery of Novak Djokovic’s Grand Slam record, Australia faces a crisis of hesitation as it studies whether unaffiliated players are allowed to compete at the Australian Open against Covid-19 should be given.
For officials who make such decisions, the ball seems to be in others’ court.
After months of speculation, the situation finally became clear last week, when Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said tennis players would have to be doubly vaccinated to enter the country.
But water changed again four days later when a leaked e-mail from the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) said tennis players who have not been vaccinated would be welcome if they were willing to spend 14 days in quarantine.
Hawkes’ office declined to comment on the WTA letter, but other officials have since downplayed the minister’s statement, saying the matter remains unresolved.
“it’s not up to me [decidir] If they will be accepted into the country, but if they are, we will manage this risk”, said Daniel Andrews, who heads Victoria state’s government and on Tuesday against the admission of those who are not vaccinated. (26).
World number one tennis player Djokovic refused to disclose his vaccination status and said last week that he cannot play at Melbourne Park, saying “things are as they are”.