“I’m Doing For Me”: Victoria Azarenka Hits Back at a Tennis Fan Over Vaccination Jibe

Published 04/20/2021, 12:30 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021 Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka reacts during her first round match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a strange effect on both the ATP and WTA tennis tours. While a majority of the tournaments were cancelled last year, a lot of events are taking place this year with empty stadiums.

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Interestingly, tennis fans got to see some disruptive opinions of their favorite players during last year’s lockdown and got to see their lack of connection with the normal life outside the tour.

Even with the ongoing COVID-19 vaccinations, there was very little support from both men and women tennis players for the vaccine. Simona Halep was one of the few tennis players to get vaccinated; Naomi Osaka, too, mentioned that she would get vaccinated when her turn would come.

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The latest to join the list is former world number one, Victoria Azarenka. After a phenomenal comeback last year which saw her winning the Cincinnati Open and reaching the finals of the US Open, Azarenka had some memorable victories since then.

ROME, ITALY: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates in her round one match against Venus Williams of The United States during day three of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at Foro Italico in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Riccardo Antimiani – Pool/Getty Images)

Victoria Azarenka hits back at a tennis fan

Azarenka decided to get vaccinated and posted a picture on Twitter after she got the jab. While many seemed to appreciate the move, one tennis fan criticized the Belarusian for believing in the vaccines blindly. The fan even mentioned former tennis player Pat Cash’s comments, where he warned tennis players to not take the COVID vaccines.

The Belarusian was quick to hit back at the comment and gave a dignified response, stating that it was solely her decision to get vaccinated as she believed it was the right thing to do.

Male tennis stars yet to get vaccinated

The situation is dire on the men’s side, with world number one, Novak Djokovic, having made headlines last year for statements indicating his opposition to getting vaccinated. Andrey Rublev also openly expressed his displeasure towards the COVID-19 vaccines as well.

Even though Diego Schwartzman initially vouched against vaccination, he later withdrew his statement and indicated that he would get vaccinated if the ATP wants every player to get vaccinated.

On the plus side, players like Dan Evans and Alexander Bublik are open to vaccinations and it will be interesting to what other players have to say as the tour continues.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

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