Dominic Thiem to get Covid vaccination after Novak Djokovic Australian Open ban threat

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Dominic Thiem has revealed that he will be receiving the Covid vaccine after players including Novak Djokovic were threatened with an Australian Open ban. Currently, those looking to compete in the first Grand Slam of 2022 will need to undergo a two-week quarantine but government officials have warned that players may not be allowed to play unless they are fully vaccinated. After Novak Djokovic said he hoped the jab would not become mandatory on tour, the Victorian Premier said Grand Slam titles “wouldn’t help” those trying to bypass any restrictions.

Players face being unable to enter the Australian Open unless they have been vaccinated in time.

The event is set to take place during the final two weeks of January, and as it stands, players are expected to spend two weeks in a quarantine ‘bubble’ before being allowed out to play the tournament as normal.

However, there are fears government officials could crack down on vaccine rules and require all tournament players and personnel to be jabbed ahead of the event, leaving the likes of Novak Djokovic in doubt for the tournament.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews recently made a subtle dig at the world No 1 when admitting players could only be guaranteed entry if they had a full dose of the vaccine, as he told reporters: “[Grand Slam] titles won’t protect you. The only title that will protect you is you being able to have had your first dose and second dose.”

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion is one player expected not to have received any doses of the Covid vaccine, given his previous comments on the jab as well as his stance on vaccines and non-natural medicine.

“I don’t think it’ll come to that. I hope not, because I’ve always believed in freedom of choice,” the world No 1 told reporters in April when asked if mandatory vaccines were a possibility. 

“And I will keep the decision as to whether I’m going to get vaccinated or not to myself, it’s an intimate decision and I don’t want to go into this game of pro and against vaccines, which the media is unfortunately creating these days.”

While nothing is set in stone, Dominic Thiem has now admitted he will be getting the vaccine ahead of the Australian Open in order to guarantee his place in the tournament.

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The 2020 US Open champion, who has been sidelined since June this year as he battles an ongoing wrist injury, is looking to make his return to competitive tennis in Australia at the beginning of next year.

The Australian told DerStandard that he has not yet been vaccine and is waiting for the Novavax jab to be approved, he says: “Because the doctor said it was a good vaccine.”

However, Thiem still plans to get jabbed “with something else” if he cannot receive the Novavax vaccine in time to travel to Australia.

His comments come as former Australian pro Casey Dellacqua refused to rule out the potential of a ban against unvaccinated players.

Speaking to Nine’s Wide World of Sports on behalf of Tennis Australia, she said: “Obviously the landscape is changing here so those conditions we hope will change but we can only let them know what we know now. And that is that the Australian Open will go ahead the last two weeks of January.”

When asked whether the likes of Djokovic could be banned if they didn’t get the jab, the player-turned-pundit added: “”Our message to the playing group at the moment is, if you want the best conditions, our best piece of advice is to go and get vaccinated.”

“What I can say is if the players are coming out to Australia, the ones that are vaccinated versus the ones that are unvaccinated, their conditions will look quite different.

“So our best piece of advice to the playing group is to go and get vaccinated.”
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