Victoria Azarenka has pulled out of next week’s Stuttgart Open as it coincides with her scheduled COVID-19 vaccination.
Both the ATP and WTA Tours have encouraged athletes to accept vaccine shots when available although some of the top players expressed a reluctance to get vaccinated at the recent Miami Open.
Under updated coronavirus protocols on the men’s tour, players who have been vaccinated are no longer considered as close contacts of anyone testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
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“I will unfortunately not be able to compete in Stuttgart next week as I will be receiving my first dosis of the vaccine at the same time,” the Belarusian world No 15 said on Twitter.
French Open champion Iga Swiatek is another player who will skip next week’s tournament in Germany.
Swiatek, 19, said her focus is on playing in Madrid and Rome – both WTA 1000 events – before her title defence at Roland Garros which begins on May 30 after it was postponed by a week due to the pandemic.
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“Unfortunately I won’t play in Stuttgart this year,” she said in a statement.
“It wasn’t an easy decision but after a lot of discussion we decided that I need more time to prepare properly for tournaments in Madrid, Rome and Paris.”
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