The tennis world has reacted with disappointment and anger after World No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas announced he wouldn't take the Covid-19 vaccine until it became mandatory on the ATP Tour.
The World No.3 shocked many in the tennis community after he announced he hadn't been jabbed with his first dose of the vaccine, saying he still has some reservations.
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However, the 23-year-old said he would get vaccinated if they became mandatory for players on tour.
His comments come after he admitted to struggling in the tour's 'bubble' environments, following up a strong French Open result with a shock first round exit at Wimbledon.
The US Open is coming up and the event is trying to ensure the safety of the players in a bubble, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.
Yet, the World No.3 has found little support in the tennis community.
Tsitsipas did appear in a government campaign to help promote safety measures to help fight against Covid-19 in Greece.
But his own stance on getting a vaccine appears to go against the campaign.
Novak Djokovic, whose vaccination stance drew the ire of tennis fans, was one such star that copped plenty of criticism for his lack of urgency to get the vaccine.
Now, Tsitsipas is the second-highest profiled male tennis player to show his hesitancy.
"No one has told me anything. No one has made it a mandatory thing to be vaccinated," he told reporters, when asked if he would seek a vaccine while competing in the US.
"At some point I will have to, I'm pretty sure about it, but so far it hasn't been mandatory to compete, so I haven't done it, no."
Covid vaccine divides tennis world
The Covid-19 vaccine has divided opinion within tennis.
Top ranked Novak Djokovic said in April he hoped the Covid-19 vaccine would not become mandatory for players to compete and has declined to answer questions regarding 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 to get life back to some form of normality.
Federer said in May that he received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, while Nadal said: "The only way out of this nightmare is vaccination. Our responsibility as human beings is to accept it.
Spectators will not be allowed to attend qualifying rounds at the US Open due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) said last week.
The USTA previously said it would, however, allow full fan capacity for the main draw of the tournament starting on August 30.
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