Nick Kyrgios makes U-turn about allowing unvaccinated players to compete at Australian Open

Australian Open
Nick Kyrgios post-match celebration

Australian tennis maverick Nick Kyrgios has U-turned on the comments he made on his podcast about not wanting his home Grand Slam to go ahead in January 2022.

The 26-year-old said on his “No Boundaries” podcast that he wanted the Australian Open to be cancelled and that it would be “morally wrong” to force unvaccinated players to have the Covid jab.

However, Kyrgios has now clarified what he actually meant, on a video on his Instagram Stories he said: “To say that I’d want to Australian Open cancelled, I think that was the sentence that got taken out of context.

“Tennis has been such a big part of my life for 15 years plus.

“I’ve given myself a lot of sacrifice every single day for this sport and I love it.

“It’s more so for the people of Melbourne who have gone through hell and back.

“It’s been 275 days, nearly 300 days of lockdown and your freedom has been taken away from you.”

Kyrgios isn’t against the idea of Australia welcoming people in for the Grand Slam next year but he doesn’t think it would be right to allow those who haven’t had a vaccination against Covid-19 into the country as it could potentially send them back into lockdown.

“I don’t think it’s morally right to accept players from overseas that aren’t vaccinated to come into our country and waltz around Melbourne (with a) free will,” he added.

“But for players who are vaccinated, I think that’s an amazing opportunity to get the people of Australia and the city of Melbourne back together for such an amazing sporting event.”

This would bring into question whether world No1 Novak Djokovic would be able to defend his title at the Australian Open as he has repeatedly declined to disclose his vaccination status.

Australian government officials and the premier of the state of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, have said that unvaccinated players will be barred from the tournament, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said unjabbed players would be able to play at the Grand Slam.

The Australian Open starts on January 17.

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