Pierre-Hugues Herbert to miss the Australian Open as he is not vaccinated out of ‘personal choice’

Pierre-Hugues Herbert in action

Pierre-Hugues Herbert has become the first player to confirm he will miss the 2022 Australian Open due to his “personal choice not to be vaccinated” against the coronavirus.

Tennis Australia and Australian Open organisers have adopted a strict Covid-19 vaccine policy for next year’s hard-court Grand Slam as all players have to be fully inoculated if they are to compete.

Herbert has confirmed that he is not vaccinated, which means he will not be handed a visa to enter Australia.

“Personally, I am not vaccinated and the trip to Australia was not an option for me,” he told French publication L’Alsace.

“I do what I can. But because of my singles ranking, it may have been a bad thing (to go to Australia) for a good start.”

The Frenchamn is currently No 109 in the ATP Rankings in singles so would have had an automatic entry into the Australian Open main draw, but it is in the doubles that he will miss out most as he and compatriot Nicolas Mahut are regular challengers for major titles.

The pair won the 2021 French Open and also the recently concluded ATP Finals doubles.

Although he admits it unlikely to be “feasible” to be unvaccinated for much longer, it remains his choice.

“Yes, for my part, it is a personal choice not to be vaccinated,” he said.

“I don’t know how long it will last, I don’t know if it’s feasible today to be a tennis player without being vaccinated.

“There is not only Australia. Today, there are the United States, Austria … it is a rather complex topic.”