Australian Open requires men’s singles players to be vaccinated against a virus that is affecting players

Tennis Australia’s CEO said Tuesday that men’s singles players should be vaccinated against a virus that has affected players in the Australian Open.

Greg Anderson said that the risk of catching the virus, believed to be a respiratory disease, at the event was too great and that it would only take a minor respiratory illness to result in a player falling ill.

“There is no way that you would come to Melbourne and play tennis knowing that there are quite serious health issues and even a minor respiratory illness can have fatal consequences,” Anderson said.

Men’s Australia Open champion Novak Djokovic withdrew from the start of his ATP tournament in Miami last week, saying he had been infected with an unspecified virus.

Novak Djokovic withdraws from start of ATP in Miami, citing illness

Uncertainty on the date of the 2017 Australian Open — held in January each year — has also seen some players choose not to sign contracts with Tennis Australia for exhibitions exhibitions in the lead up to the tournament. Tennis Australia CEO Greg Anderson confirmed in March that the tournament had received offers from Chinese and South American authorities to stage men’s events in Shanghai and Buenos Aires.

Last week, Kooyong Classic chief executive Peter Bradshaw said it was “not an unreasonable assumption” that Djokovic wouldn’t attend the tournament in January.

After the Australian Open, male tennis players will begin the hunt for home-court advantage, beginning in the qualifying rounds. Women’s players will go straight into the main draw, followed by the semifinals and finals on Jan. 30-31.

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