Australia tennis star Ashleigh Barty recently received her first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine in USA during the Charleston Open. The vaccine drive was organised by the WTA Tour in a bid to ensure their athletes had some form of protection. However, Barty revealed that she chose to avoid jumping the queue for the shot. The reason? So as to not deprive those people of the vaccine who needed it the most. She revealed the details after booking her place in the quarterfinals of the Stuttgart Open.
“We were looking at different avenues to try and get vaccinated without jumping the queue in Australia,” she told New York Times tennis correspondent Ben Rothenberg.
“To see what our options were and we weren’t able to get much of an answer before we left in March.
“We were able to get the vaccine, as were a lot of other players, through the Tour and that they had organised through a certain pharmacy that had extras.
“That was important to me knowing that those who were the most vulnerable were able to get it first. It was nice to know that we have got that small layer of protection.”
The world number one sat out Roland Garros last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, Poland’s Iga Swiatek succeeded her as champion.
But she has looked in fine form at Stuttgart, which is building to the French Open 2021. Ashleigh Barty beat Laura Siegemund by winning all 24 points when she got her first serve into play.
She then saw off a second-set surge to clinch the 84-minute victory.
This was Barty’s first win on European clay since defeating Marketa Vondrousova. That win saw her claim her maiden grand slam singles title in June 2019. The top seed needed just 24 minutes to wrap up the first set.
“It was good to play on a new surface, the court was quite quick compared to what I am used to,” said Barty afterwards.