Tennis

Vaccination rules might be tweaked for Australian Open

Unvaccinated players will be allowed to compete at the Australian Open, but must do 14 days in quarantine, according to a leaked WTA e-mail yesterday, although a government official insisted the matter was "not settled".

The rules would also likely apply to the men's Tour, leaving the door open for world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to defend his title in Melbourne in January.

The e-mail to players from the women's governing body was leaked to The New York Times' tennis writer Ben Rothenberg, who posted it on Twitter. It contradicts officials' earlier stance on denying visas for unvaccinated players.

The e-mail said that players fully inoculated against Covid-19 would not have to quarantine or remain in bio-secure bubbles, enjoying "complete freedom of movement".

Unvaccinated players can enter Australia but would have to undergo two weeks' mandatory hotel quarantine and submit to regular testing, it stated.

The e-mail added: "Because Victoria's vaccination rate will hit 80 per cent at the end of the week and 90 per cent next month, it has been confirmed that conditions for players at the Australian Open will improve significantly."

But Victoria state Sports Minister Martin Pakula insisted yesterday that the requirements were "not settled yet". - REUTERS

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