All tennis players involved at the Charleston Open in the USA are eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine, according to doubles specialist Oksana Kalashnikova.
The Georgian revealed on Twitter that she had been given the one-shot Johnson & Johnson/Janssen jab, which is widely used in the US but has not yet been approved by regulators in the United Kingdom, though it is reported it will be the version of choice for the under-30s when it is.
Kalashnikova confirmed all players were being offered a vaccine at the event, where world number one Ashleigh Barty leads the field.
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The Australian has previously said she is open to receiving the injection, but it is not known which players have taken up the offer in South Carolina, and organisers have not confirmed Kalashnikova’s claim.
Unlike in the UK, where the rollout is staggered by age or medical status, the state of South Carolina permits anyone over the age of 16 to receive a vaccine, so the players are not jumping any queues.
There have been calls for elite sports people to receive a jab, especially before this summer’s Olympics and Paralympics, but there have also been sceptics in tennis.
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Novak Djokovic has previously voiced his concerns about Covid inoculation, while Elina Svitolina, Aryna Sabalenka, and Andrey Rublev have all recently said they would prefer to wait longer before receiving a vaccine.
Both the ATP and WTA have urged players to take up the offer if they have one, advising them to trust the advice of medicine regulators.
Barty, Stephens and Gauff knocked out of Charleston Open
WTA Charleston, SC
Barty battles past Rogers into Charleston quarters, Muguruza, Kvitova out