Stefanos Tsitsipas says he is planning to get the Covid-19 vaccine this year, having caused controversy last month by stating he only do so if it became mandatory to compete in tennis.
The 23-year-old caused a stir at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati when he said that he was worried about the side effects of the vaccine and did not plan to get it.
But he now seems to have made a U-turn on his decision because of the benefits it will afford him.
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"I will get vaccinated this year,” he told Antenna TV. “So I can go to restaurants and shops. I support all those who get vaccinated.
“I am not a doctor; I am a tennis player, so I may not have the most substantiated opinion when it comes to medical issues.”
World No 3 Tsitsipas was the face of Greece’s “Stay Home” campaign during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
Speaking about the vaccine last month he said: “I don't see any reason for someone of my age to do it - it hasn't been tested enough and it has side effects - as long as it's not mandatory, everyone can decide for themselves.”
His words were met with some push back from the Greece government, with a spokesman saying: “He does not have the knowledge and studies to assess the need for vaccinations. Stefanos Tsitsipas is a great athlete, his skills in sports and his contribution to sports in the country is unquestionable.
“What is at stake, however, is his ability to assess the need for vaccinations or whether the vaccine has been tested for a sufficient period of time. And…he has neither the knowledge nor the studies nor the research work that would allow him to form an opinion about it."
Tsitsipas is set to compete at this week’s Laver Cup, which will be shown live on Eurosport, despite missing Greece’s Davis Cup tie with Lithuania at the weekend due to a foot injury.
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26/01/2022 AT 05:37