Victoria Azarenka news: Belarusian calls for vaccine mandate, saying its about helping vulnerable people

Victoria Azarenka talks to the media

Victoria Azarenka has weighed in on the Covid-19 vaccination topic that has the world talking, saying it should be mandatory for all players to be vaccinated.

The subject was fuelled by the deportation of the world No 1 Novak Djokovic from the Australian Open after he lost an appeal to stay in the county.

The dramatic saga caused an international uproar, leading to opinions of the tennis playing community.

Former world No 1 Azarenka reached the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Jil Teichmann on Wednesday and after the match she explained she believes in science and feels it should be mandatory for the players to be vaccinated.

“From my standpoint it’s been very clear. I believe in science. I believe in getting vaccinated. That’s what I did for myself.  However, we are playing a global sport, we still have to respect countries, different countries, different mandates, different legalities of the country,” said the Belarusian.

“I believe that spending a lot of extra money over this last almost two years now on all the testing, that is a big budget. I don’t necessarily will say that getting vaccinated, then nobody will be sick, but I think it is a step to hopefully battle against this coronavirus, hopefully bring it down globally. But to make it as a mandate, there is much more to it.

“If you ask me just for my opinion if that should be the case, I think it would just be helpful for everybody in the world, especially when we are traveling internationally.”

The Belarusian, who won the Australian Open title in 2012 and 2013, believes there is a social responsibility for other people who are much more vulnerable than the players that need to be protected by getting vaccinated.

“In our case I think this is what has been recommended, and that’s what I believe is the right thing to do. I think from a social standpoint it’s been very clear that the WTA is supporting the vaccines and recommending it. Again, it goes beyond mandating for a legal part. Encouragement has always been from the WTA side, from tennis side I think in general,” she added.

“On a social aspect, personally for me it’s not necessarily maybe about myself, it’s about other people. Like my parents for example, are at high risk for Covid.

“I had Covid in November of this year. Unfortunately my parents also got it. It was tough for my dad. Thankfully he was vaccinated because I honestly don’t know what could have happened otherwise. For me there is a social responsibility for other people who are much more vulnerable than us. I definitely look at it from that point, as well.”