Andy Murray said that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is about looking after the health of the “wider public” and he hopes tennis players who are reluctant to receive the sting will see the many benefits.
Murray’s comments come ahead of the US Open in New York next week, where organizers said Friday that fans will need to show proof of vaccination to enter the grounds. The athletes themselves do not need to be vaccinated.
“The reason we all get vaccinated is to pay attention to the general public,” Murray told reporters on Saturday.
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“As players who travel the world, we have a responsibility to look after everyone else,” he said.
“I’m happy to have been vaccinated. I hope that more players will choose it in the coming months.”
The COVID-19 vaccine has divided opinions in tennis.
World number one Novak Djokovic reiterated his position this week that he hopes the vaccine will not become mandatory for players to compete. He declined to answer questions about his own vaccination status.
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The world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas, who will compete in the first round against the unseen Murray on Monday, has said that he will be careful with a vaccination and will only do this if participation in the ATP tour becomes mandatory.
But the 20-time Grand Slam winners Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal believe that the athletes must do their part and get vaccinated.
Murray said players might feel confident when they see the freedom vaccinated players have in tournaments like the Australian Open in January versus unvaccinated competitors.
“I know the conversations about the Australian Open and so on,” said Murray.
“The players who have been vaccinated may be able to … have very different conditions than players who are not vaccinated.”
Murray said he believed “much” of the tour wasn’t vaccinated and said it will be controversial if tournaments require it to compete.
“There will be a lot of pretty long, tough conversations with the tour and all the players involved to try to find a solution,” he said.