Australian Open-bound Thiem says 'I'm vaccinated'

Austrian tennis star targeting return from injury in Abu Dhabi to prepare for first Grand Slam of 2022

AFP November 03, 2021

Dominic Thiem said on Tuesday he has been vaccinated against Covid-19 and is targeting a return from injury in Abu Dhabi to prepare for the first Grand Slam of 2022 at the Australian Open.

The 2020 US Open champion's readiness to declare his vaccination status is at odds with the likes of Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev.

Both Djokvoic, the Australian Open champion, and Medvedev, who succeeded Thiem as US Open winner, have declined to confirm whether they have been jabbed.

The issue of vaccination is at the heart of discussions in world tennis in the run-up to the January 17-30 Grand Slam in Melbourne.

Officials said unvaccinated players will not get special dispensation for the event, potentially ruling out Djokovic.

The nine-time Australian Open champion is one of many players who have refused to share their vaccination status, casting doubt over whether he will defend his title.

Thiem has no such qualms, confirming in Vienna his participation in Abu Dhabi in December ahead of the Australian Open.

"Needless to say that the vaccine is needed to play both events, and in my case I have already been vaccinated."

Last week Thiem was advised by Austria's health minister to get jabbed against Covid-19.

Thiem said earlier this month he was waiting for a vaccine from American pharmaceutical company Novavax, that uses an 'inactivated' protein-based formula.

"I saw recently some news about this and I had made it very clear that I would get vaccinated. Hopefully the next time things won't be taken this far as I saw last week."

Thiem, 28, and ranked ninth in the world, is returning after a wrist injury that has kept him off the court since August.


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