Australian Open: get vaccinated or not - also a question of money
Forgoing the Australian Open would of course have a sporting component for all players. For some it is also an important financial one.
by Jens Huiber
last edit: Oct 23, 2021, 02:30 pm
There is also good news from the Australian state of Victoria: After the vaccination rate there is over 70 percent, the regional government has lifted most of the corona restrictions. Conversely, this does not mean that the vaccination mandate in the room for all tennis professionals who will fight for the title at the Australian Open at the end of January will be canceled.
70 percent, that could also be an approximate rate of vaccinated ATP or WTA professionals, reliable information is rather difficult to get. That would mean, however, that if entry is only possible with a complete vaccination, up to 40 participants who would actually have qualified for the 128 fields will not compete in Melbourne. A bloodletting that would significantly reduce the attractiveness of the first major of the year.
Djokovic and Zverev no longer play for money
While for people like Novak Djokovic (vaccination status: unknown) or Alexander Zverev (fully vaccinated according to information from the BILD newspaper), the main thing is to become a little more immortal (Djokovic) or to ride in with the first major title In the direction of immortality (Zverev), renouncing the Australian Open would affect many players where it almost hurts more than the legs after a five-set match in the Australian heat: in the wallet.
In the last edition at the beginning of 2021, the punctual appearance for the first match alone brought prize money of 77,290 Australian dollars, which is almost exactly 50,000 euros. For a randomly selected player like number 80 on the ATP charts, Roberto Carballes Baena, that would be ten percent of his annual earnings. Plus the loss of income from any preparatory tournaments, which were particularly numerous at the beginning of this year.
When does the level of suffering become too high?
Of course: On the one hand, the taxes on this prize money (usually 20 percent) are immediately transferred to the local tax authorities, and the players also have to pay for the costs of their coaches and physiotherapists. A trip down under is all the more important. After all, this is not a matter of just a few days.
So it will be interesting to see who decides that the stress of staying away in Melbourne is not great enough to actually get vaccinated. Also in the front ranks. Because there are some candidates who have an unknown vaccination status, but have high ambitions in Grand Slam tournaments.