Serena Williams withdraws from Australian Open vaccination-mandated

Tennis great Serena Williams announced on Wednesday that she will not participate in this year’s Australian Open on ‘advice from her medical team’.

In a statement following her conspicuous absence from the first roster at this year’s tournament, Williams, 40, said: “On the advice of my medical team, I have decided to withdraw from this year’s Australian Open.

“While this is never an easy decision, physically I’m not where I need to be to compete.

“Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to playing in the AO every year. I will miss seeing the fans, but I look forward to coming back and competing at my highest level.”

The announcement comes just a month after Australian Open CEO Craig Tiley said Williams would likely play in the tournament.

Serena Williams, 40, announced on Wednesday that she will not participate in this year’s Australia Open on the advice of her medical staff.

She released the statement on Twitter on Wednesday, after she failed to appear on the player list

She released the statement on Twitter on Wednesday, after she failed to appear on the player list

Williams, 40, has not played on the WTA Tour since June 28, when she retired late in the first set of her opening round at Wimbledon due to an injured right hamstring.

The injury heals slowly, the New York Times reports, and prevented Williams from competing in this year’s United States Open. Her rank has since dropped to 41, despite having more Grand Slam titles than any other player.

It is unclear whether Williams decided not to participate in this year’s tournament because of the injury, or if it could be because of the Australian Open vaccination requirement.

DailyMail.com has reached out to Williams’ agent, the World Tennis Association and the Australian Open for more information.

Williams has not competed since injuring her right hamstring in June, and she now ranks 41st in the world despite having more Grand Slam titles than any other player.

Williams hasn’t competed since injuring her right hamstring in June, and she now ranks 41st in the world, despite having won more Grand Slam titles than any other player.

Australian Open officials announced last month that all players would need to be vaccinated to participate in this year’s tournament.

“It’s the only direction you can take to ensure everyone’s safety and all playgroups understand it,” Tiley said in a television interview at the time.

“Our customers will have to be vaccinated,” he said. “All the staff working on the Australian Open should be vaccinated, but if we’re in a state where over 90 percent of the population is fully vaccinated – they’ve done a fantastic job with that – it’s the right choice to do.” .’

In response, Steve Simon, chief executive of the Women’s Tennis Association, said more than 70 percent of the top 300 singles and top 100 doubles had been vaccinated, the Time reported.

It remains unclear whether Williams is among that 70 percent of vaccinated players, but her husband, Alexis Ohanian, has previously tweeted in favor of the vaccinations.

In June he wrote: ‘Please get vaccinated. The data on the #DeltaVariant is not going in the right direction.’

And in 2018, before the coronavirus pandemic, he posted that he and their daughter, Olympia, had received their flu vaccines, writing: ‘I know it wasn’t fun, but vaccines are so important.

“There should be a national holiday for Jonas Salk around the start of the flu season to remind everyone what a hero that man was not only to cure polio, but to give away the vaccine (instead of patenting it.” ),’ he continued Instagram.

In the 1940s and early 1950s, polio was considered one of the most terrifying public health problems in America. This man shows up and says, “Hey, I can save all future generations of children from suffering from this crippling virus — and I don’t want to make any money off it.”

“That’s a boss move.”

Her husband, Alex Ohanian, has previously tweeted in favor of vaccinations

Her husband, Alex Ohanian, has previously tweeted in favor of vaccinations

However, the event’s vaccination requirement caused some controversy as Novak Djokovic, the number 1 in men’s singles, had expressed concerns about the vaccine.

He had said he would wait to decide whether to get one under the Australia Open rules, but his father, Srdjan Djokovic, had claimed in a interview with TV Prava in Serbia that the vaccination mandate is ‘blackmail’, saying his son will ‘probably not comply’.

“I wouldn’t do that,” Srdjan said. “And he’s my son, so that’s up to you.”

But Djokovic is now on the list to play at the event, which kicks off on January 17 in Melbourne, Victoria – a state with some of the strictest coronavirus restrictions in the world, with six separate home orders over 18 months.

Novak Djokovic, the number 1 player in men's singles, will play at the Australian Open after raising concerns about COVID vaccines

Novak Djokovic, the number 1 player in men’s singles, will play at the Australian Open after raising concerns about COVID vaccines

The tournament kicks off on January 17 in Melbourne (pictured), which has had some of the strictest coronavirus restrictions and requires all players to be vaccinated

The tournament kicks off on January 17 in Melbourne (pictured), which has had some of the strictest coronavirus restrictions and requires all players to be vaccinated

Vaccination mandates have also hampered the careers of other athletes in the past year.

Basketball star Kyrie Irving has been unable to play for the Brooklyn Nets this season after refusing to receive the vaccine, despite a state mandate requiring all athletes to be vaccinated against COVID in order to play.

“Kyrie has made it clear that he has a choice in this, and it is ultimately up to him what he decides,” said CEO Sean Marks at the time.

“We respect the fact that he has a choice, he can make his own choice, and right now the best way for the organization is the path we are taking.”

Lakers star LeBron James was also nearly kicked out of the team this year for refusing to get the vaccine, but decided to get vaccinated before the season started.

“I think everyone has their own choice – to do what’s right for themselves and their family and things like that,” he said. CBS News.

“I know I was very skeptical about it, but after doing my own research, I felt it was best suited not only for me, but also for my family and friends.”

As of Tuesday, about 71 percent of eligible Americans had received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and 60 percent are fully vaccinated.

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