Andy Murray backs Australian Open ban on unvaccinated players


Andy Murray hopes unvaccinated players will compete at the Australian Open, but says he supports moves by local authorities at Melbourne Park to impose stricter conditions on those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has gone.

Victoria’s Sports Minister Martin Pakula said on Tuesday that players planning to compete in the first Grand Slam of the year should get vaccinated to give them the best chance at competing in Melbourne.

Tennis Australia has declined to comment on arrangements based on players’ vaccination status.

However, vaccinated players are expected to be given more freedom to move around and may even be able to skip the country’s mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

“My understanding is that if you’re without vaccination you’re still allowed to play, just the rules are going to be different,” Murray told a news conference after Indian Wells’ third-round loss by Alexander Zverev.

“You may have to go (to Australia) a few weeks earlier than everyone else,” he said. It is the player’s choice. If the local government implements it, I will support it.

“It would be great if more players were vaccinated.

“Australia in particular has been very tough there. The people there have had to endure a painful 18 months or whatever.

“If people are going to come into the country and potentially risk an outbreak in their community, then yes, that makes sense.”

World number four Zverev, who said in April that he had not been vaccinated, did not want to get caught up in the debate.

He said, ‘I fully respect the decisions of those players who have not been vaccinated. I also respect the decision being made by the Australian Government.

“I don’t want to be in the middle of something I’m not involved in because I don’t have that issue of a two-week quarantine, all that. I don’t want to go against anybody here.”

The Australian Open is scheduled to begin on January 17.

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