‘I don’t feel afraid, because I am vaccinated,’ says Simona Halep as she urges more players to get vaccinated

Simona Halep arrives on court

Simona Halep admits she “feels protected” after getting the Covid-19 vaccine as she urged more players to get vaccinated so that tennis can do away with bubbles.

The sport was forced to go on a five-month hiatus in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and when it finally resumed strict health and safety measures were adopted with players not allowed to leave the bio-bubbles.

Halep competed at the rescheduled French Open in September last year, but she tested positive for the coronavirus in October and skipped the remainder of the 2020 season.

The Romanian received her Covid-19 vaccination in February and she admits she feels at ease now.

“I don’t feel afraid, because I am vaccinated,” the former world No 1 said. “I feel protected. I am taking care. I wear the mask when many people are around.”

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Although the ATP and WTA have encouraged players to get vaccinated, several are still skeptic while Greek world No 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted earlier in the week that he will only get a shot if it becomes compulsory to compete.

Halep, though, believes getting vaccinated will help speed up the process of getting rid of the tournament bubbles.

“I feel much better when the tournament is open,” she said. “I don’t like the bubbles. I feel very stressed when I’m in the bubble. So if people can vaccinate more and more, [it] will be better, because we will not have more restrictions any more.”