Australian Open 2021

‘They will still come’ – ATP star says unvaccinated players will play Australian Open

Australian star John Millman wants to see all players competing at the upcoming Australian Open regardless of their vaccination stance. 

Millman, who revealed that he has had both vaccines and is ‘pro vaccination’, believes players who are not jabbed though are willing to undergo a two week quarantine period should be permitted to travel and compete.

The Australian’s comments come during a clash between the Australian PM Scott Morrison and Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews.

Whilst Morrison suggested he would welcome unvaccinated stars provided they quarantine, Andrews ruled out any chance of providing travel permits for such players and urged them to get vaccinated or miss the Slam.

“I’m pro vaccination. I’m all for getting the jab. I’ve had it over here and I’m feeling good,” said Millman.

“But I do want to see an opportunity for all the players to be able to play tennis, whether that be unvaccinated people having to go in and do the 14 days hard quarantine, like we’ve seen throughout the year – people returning back home who’ve been unvaccinated do.

“I’d like to see them at least have that opportunity. It is encouraging that those who are vaccinated can come in and play the Australian Open, definitely.”

World number 57 Millman is a member of the ATP Players Council and said the council have been urging players to get vaccinated.

“The ATP’s stance is they haven’t made it compulsory for players to get the vaccination, but they’re not going to stand in the way of [the rules set by] governments and local jurisdictions,” he said.

“The men’s tour’s now up around 70 per cent [double dosed] and that number’s going up each day in terms of the guys in the top 100.”

Despite the continuing uncertainty over the Australian Open, Millman believes that even those who are unvaccinated will still go to Australia despite the quarantine measures.

“I think that they will still come,” he said.

“I can’t speak for them, but I do believe that the majority of players, even if they are unvaccinated, would still come, even if it meant doing the 14 days.

“It’s not ideal. I’ve done that [hard quarantine] before. It is extremely hard to ‘find’ the tennis ball when you come out of it.

“The Australian Open at the end of the day – it is one of the four biggest events that we have. It’s a great opportunity. You don’t get to play Grand Slams day in, day out.

“[But with] both the accolades of playing a grand slam and doing well in a grand slam, along with the prize money that’s on offer, I think is a nice caveat.”

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.