By Selcuk Bugra Gokalp
ANKARA (AA) – Russian tennis player Natalia Vikhlyantseva will not be able to compete in the 2022 Australian Open next month as the host nation does not recognize the coronavirus vaccine she has had.
"Unfortunately, I will not participate in this year AO event. I’m really happy with a level of tennis I showed on a last few events and I wish to play in Australia but Sputnik is not verified yet," Vikhlyantseva said on Twitter on Monday.
The 24-year-old is now ranked 194th in women's singles but Vikhlyantseva is a former world no. 54, which was her career high.
Australia, the host nation of the 2022's first Grand Slam, does not recognize the Sputnik V vaccine developed by Russia.
The government has approved Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson&Johnson so far.
As of Nov. 1, Australia also recognized Sinovac, Sinopharm China, Bharat Biotech, and AstraZeneca produced by the Serum Institute of India for those traveling into the country.
The 2022 Australian Open, one of the four majors in tennis, will be held between Jan. 17-30 in Melbourne.