Nicolas Mahut Pierre-Hugues Herbert Australian Open champions 2019

‘His season could be in danger’ warns doubles partner on Pierre-Hugues Herbert Australian Open decision

Pierre Hugues-Herbert will miss the Australian Open as he is unvaccinated, a move his doubles partner believes will bring more difficulties.

Herbert and Nicolas Mahut have won five Slam titles between them, including all four Slams at least once for the Career Grand Slam.

They won the Australian Open in 2019 to complete that Grand Slam, and would have played together again at the 2022 Australian Open.

However, Herbert has now revealed his deciasion not to play in Melbourne as he is not fully vaccinated.

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

Mahut himself revealed he has known about Herbert’s decision since October at the European Open in Antwerp.

“He had already started his reflection during the US Open (in September),” Mahut told L’Equipe.

“[Herbert] told me his decision in Antwerp (in October). He does not want to be vaccinated, at least not now, and he measures the consequences of his decision.

“He is well aware that this could seriously complicate his season. The question arises in particular for the trip to Indian Wells and Miami (in March).”

Mahut has defended the decision of Herbert, recognising the choice to get vaccinated or not as a personal one.

“I disagree with people who judge and who say that it is good or bad,” he explained.

“I respect his decision. I didn’t make that choice, I got vaccinated very early on, but I totally understand. It’s a very personal choice.

“I do not know to what extent he will hold his convictions. To what extent it risks undermining him and preventing him from carrying out his job.

“When I say that I refuse to go play in China to support Peng Shuai, it’s easy, it doesn’t impact my season.

“Him, on the other hand, can put his season in danger [with this decision].”

Mahut further revealed who he will be teaming up with as a replacement for Herbert come the Australian Open on 17th January.

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