Murray wants more vaccinated fellow pros

·2-min read

When Andy Murray sat in the US Open's main interview room for a pre-tournament news conference on Saturday, the moderator informed the 2012 champion he was allowed to remove the light blue mask that has become so ubiquitous during the coronavirus pandemic.

Unlike the nine players who met with the media in that spot a day earlier, Murray chose to keep his mask on.

Unlike roughly half the other men and women who will be taking the court when the year's last grand slam tournament begins on Monday, Murray has been vaccinated against COVID-19.

He wishes more tennis pros were.

Players and their team members at the US Open do not need to be vaccinated, but the spectators - above the age of 12 - who have paid to watch them now must be able to show they have had at least one shot.

"The reason why all of us are getting vaccinated is to look out for the wider public," Murray said.

"We have a responsibility, as players who are travelling across the world, to look out for everyone else as well.

"I'm happy that I'm vaccinated. I'm hoping that more players choose to have it in the coming months."

People who interact with players already were required to be vaccinated: USTA employees, chair umpires, ball kids, the media and some security and transportation workers.

The COVID-19 vaccine has divided opinion within tennis.

World No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who will face the unseeded Murray in the first round on Monday, has said he is wary of getting vaccinated and will only do so if it becomes mandatory to compete on the ATP Tour.

Top ranked Novak Djokovic - who contracted coronavirus last year - this week reiterated his position that he hoped the vaccine would not become mandatory for players to compete.

He has declined to answer questions about his own vaccination status.

However, the Serbian's fellow 20-time grand slam winners Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal feel athletes need to play their part and get vaccinated.

Some players say their itinerant lifestyle, regularly travelling from city to city - or even continent to continent - makes getting the vaccine complicated.

with Reuters

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting