Nick Kyrgios has slammed tennis players who refuse to get the coronavirus vaccine. The Aussie said those who refuse to get jabbed can’t complain about life on the tennis tour, which currently includes ‘bubble’ systems and regular testing. His comments come after the US Open announced reduced prize money for the winner this year as they distribute more money to qualifying and earlier rounds.
Kyrgios has previously been outspoken on players’ behaviour during the pandemic, and has now criticised those who admit they won’t get vaccinated.
It comes after Stefanos Tsitsipas found himself embroiled in a spat with the Greek government after saying that he chose not to have the vaccine and even thought it was “good” for people under 25 to catch the virus.
Speaking in Cincinnati, the world No 3 admitted he had not yet been jabbed as the vaccine was not mandatory for players competing on tour.
He later elaborated on his comments, saying he thought the vaccine was “not tested enough” and he saw “no reason” for people his age to be vaccinated, prompting the ATP Tour to release a statement clarifying the benefits of the jab.
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The Aussie has now taken a dig at players who don’t want the vaccine, saying they can’t complain about life on tour.
Most tournaments now make it mandatory for players to enter a ‘bubble’, limiting them to the tournament site as well as a pre-authorised hotel, and requiring them to undergo regular testing.
“Obviously with the players not getting vaccinated, we can’t complain, it’s our fault,” Kyrgios said, according to John Horn.
“If we get vaccinated the tournaments will open up, the prize money will be increased, but at this moment in time we can’t complain.”
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The US Open is the latest tournament to announce that they would be reducing the prize money fund for the winner of the tournament.
While prize money will be boosted for those in qualifying and earlier rounds, the men’s and women’s singles champions are set to pocket around £1.8 million for a win, down from £2.2 million.
Kyrgios himself has previously been outspoken on following Covid restrictions.
The world No 85 slammed a number of players who competed in the Adria Tour last year, an exhibition event set up by Novak Djokovic.
The final of the second leg in Croatia was cancelled when it was announced that Grigor Dimitrov had tested positive, and Borna Coric also later tested positive for Covid, as well as the world No 1 himself.
Kyrgios slammed Alexander Zverev, previously one of his friends on tour, for being caught on camera at a busy bar after releasing a statement apologising for his participation in the Adria Tour and promising to self-isolate.
The Aussie took to his Instagram stories to record a message for the German, saying: “Sascha Zverev again, man, again. How selfish can you be?
“If you have the audacity to put out a tweet that you made your management put up on your behalf saying you’re going to self isolate for 14 days and apologising to the f****** general public for putting their health at risk, at least have the audacity to stay inside for 14 days.”
He has also previously criticised Djokovic’s behaviour during the pandemic, responding to a tweet about the world No 1’s then-unbeaten 20-0 match-winning streak in 2020.
“Hell of a tennis player. May go unbeaten in 2020, can’t take that away from him. Unfortunately when he was supposed to show some leadership and humility he went missing. Majority would say he has taken an L regardless,” Kyrgios wrote.
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