Vaccinated players to have fewer restrictions at Oz Open

Aug 31, 2021, 8:26 AM | Updated: 9:28 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The sports minister for Victoria state says tennis players at January’s Australian Open can expect fewer restrictions on their movements around Melbourne if they are vaccinated for COVID-19.

Martin Pakula also said he was “very confident” of the first Grand Slam tournament of 2022 proceeding at Melbourne Park from Jan. 17-30.

Tennis Australia has not outlined the quarantine requirements or vaccination conditions for international players as well as spectators. At the U.S. Open which started this week, everyone 12 and older must show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter the National Tennis Center — a change in policy announced last Friday.

But players at Flushing Meadows don’t need to be vaccinated. Both the men’s and women’s main tours say that vaccination rates of their players are currently just above 50%.

Former No. 1 Andy Murray is vaccinated and says as regular international travelers, players have a responsibility to “look out for others.”

Pakula agreed with Murray, and added that he expected vaccinated players to have more freedoms in Melbourne.

“Whether or not it’s as strict as you won’t get into Australia if you’re not vaccinated, that I don’t know,” Pakula told a Melbourne radio station on Wednesday.

“What I’m very clear on, what I’m very sure about, is that the rules for unvaccinated players and the rules for vaccinated players, I’m quite confident will be very different. We’ll provide clarity for the ATP and the WTA very shortly, but I think they can be very confident that being vaccinated will be a wise thing for them to do before they seek to come to Australia.”

Australian Open organizers are hoping players can avoid the hard hotel quarantine and other restrictions they endured in 2021 due to rising vaccination rates in the general public in Australia.

On Wednesday, Victorian officials said they had recorded 120 new coronavirus cases, the first time the state has reached triple COVID-19 figures in a year. There have been six lockdowns in Victoria since the pandemic started.

State officials are aiming for an 80% vaccination rate. Currently in Victoria, about 35% of the population has had one or both doses of vaccines.

“We were able to get the tournament away last year and that was with zero percent of the community vaxxed,” Pakula said. “So I’m very confident the Australian Open will go ahead and it’s very important that it does.”

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) drives as Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (11) defends during the f...
Associated Press

Young scores 27 to lead Hawks past Jazz, 115-108

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Trae Young had 27 points and six assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 115-108 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night. De’Andre Hunter scored 26 points for the Hawks. Onyeka Okongwu had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dejounte Murray added 13 points and eight assists. Atlanta […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) shoots a three point basket as Houston Rockets forward Jae...
Associated Press

VanVleet has 32 as Raptors get 117-111 win over Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) — Fred VanVleet scored 32 points, Gary Trent Jr. added 29 and the Toronto Raptors snapped a two-game skid with a 117-111 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday night. The Raptors took a commanding lead in the third quarter and were up by double-digits for most of the fourth. But five straight […]
1 day ago
Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons (1) shoots against Washington Wizards guard Monte Morr...
Associated Press

Blazers rally from 20 down to end Wizards’ win streak

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anfernee Simons scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter and the Portland Trail Blazers erased a 20-point deficit, snapping Washington’s six-game winning streak Friday night with a 124-116 victory over the Wizards. Simons made six of Portland’s nine 3-pointers in the third, and the Trail Blazers finally caught and […]
1 day ago
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is fouled as he drives to the basket against San Antonio...
Associated Press

Embiid’s double-double keys 76ers as Spurs drop 8th straight

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Joel Embiid had 33 points and 10 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers beat San Antonio 137-125 on Friday night, sending the scuffling Spurs to their eighth straight loss. Tyrese Maxey had 25 points and James Harden added 16 for Philadelphia, which has the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. “Tonight was […]
1 day ago
A scrum breaks out between Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic players during the second half ...
Associated Press

Fight between Magic, Timberwolves leads to 5 players ejected

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A fight broke out and punches were thrown during the game between the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Five players were ejected following the brawl, which started in front of the Orlando bench late in the third quarter. Minnesota guard Austin Rivers and Magic center Mo Bamba were the […]
1 day ago
Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (8) stands on the ice during the NHL All Star Skills Showcase, F...
Associated Press

NHL takes skills showcase outside, McDavid shines inside

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Sidney Crosby got dunked into a tank of water, Nick Suzuki holed a golf ball with a hockey stick and the NHL made hockey an outdoor sport for its skills showcase in South Florida. Two new events outside in the sun highlighted the league’s annual skills competition at All-Star Weekend, with […]
1 day ago
Vaccinated players to have fewer restrictions at Oz Open