The ATP will cut the red tape for fully COVID-vaccinated players while leaving anti-vaxxers to struggle with the current tournament bureaucracy.

The carrot-v-stick approach is designed to reward competitors who take the plunge as efforts to bring the worldwide pandemic under control start to bear fruit, online outlets reported.

Those who get the jab will be allowed to get stuck in at tournaments and not be forced to wait in hotel room isolation for results of their first onsite test.

The unvaccinated masses will still be required to play the waiting game now in force before being allowed onto practice courts after arrival and a preliminary swab.

An informal poll taken at the Miami Masters showed that quite a few players are not bothered to get vaccinated, with the likes of Eastern Europeans such as Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka prepared to wait and see.

By contrast, Romanian world No. 3 Simona Halep – who had a mild case of the virus in late 2020 – has gotten her jab at home in public.

ATP Boss Andrea Gaudenzi

Among the men, Novak Djokovic is the best-known of the virulent anti-jab faction; Russia’s Andrey Rublev just can’t be bothered for now.

The ATP initiative is expected to be duplicated within days by the WTA in a copycat move.

“Persons who have fully completed the Covid vaccination process may be exempt from quarantine after their initial PCR test on arrival to the tournament,” the ATP protocol reads. 

“Persons who have completed both doses of two dose vaccines (ie Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca) or a single dose (Johnson and Johnson) and have submitted proof to ATP for entry into the ATP Testing Exemption List would be eligible.”

The plan is expected to be trialled at the Monte Carlos Masters – actually played over the border in locked-down France – from April 11, according to the Mail Online.

Main photo:- ATP boss Andrea Gaudenzi


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