Australian Open Attendance Discrepancy: Vikhlyantseva Debarred Despite Full Vaccination, Djokovic Granted Exemption


In spite of being fully vaccinated, professional female tennis player Natalia Vikhlyantseva faced disheartenment as she was barred from participating in the Australian Open due to the tournament’s Covid-19 vaccination prerequisites.

An uproar ensued at the prestigious tennis competition when Novak Djokovic was granted a medical pardon exempting him from the vaccination dictate, enabling his participation despite his public reservations about vaccines. In a contrasting scenario, Vikhlyantseva encountered a different obstacle. Despite completing her vaccination regimen, she had opted for the Russian Sputnik vaccine, which is not acknowledged as legitimate in numerous Western nations.

Voicing her disappointment, the 54th-ranked female tennis player worldwide expressed her sentiments to ITV News, revealing, “I felt truly disheartened that I couldn’t join the tennis world in Australia.” While acknowledging the anonymity surrounding exemption grants, she stressed her willingness to adhere to all required testing measures and implored for an opportunity to be part of the tournament.

During her tenure on the WTA tour last year, Vikhlyantseva had been offered approved Western vaccines but had declined, citing concerns about potential adverse effects affecting her on-court performance. Despite her exclusion from the competition, she refrained from criticizing Djokovic’s participation and instead directed her frustrations towards the organizers of the Australian Open.

However, Djokovic’s circumstances took a sudden twist as he encountered complications at the Australian border and could potentially face deportation due to visa-related complications.


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