ANDY MURRAY hopes more tennis players get vaccinated before travelling to the Australian Open.
Tournament bosses Down Under may require stars to be double jabbed or face tough quarantine sanctions.
Some players on the WTA and ATP Tours have been reluctant to have any Covid vaccines despite travelling across the globe each week.
World No 1 Novak Djokovic came out as an anti-vaxxer during the 2020 lockdown but has since refused to say if he has been inoculated.
Murray, 34, who has had his two doses, said: “My understanding is if you’re unvaccinated you’re still allowed to play.
“It’s just the rules are going to be different and that’s understandable.
“Australia in particular has been very, very strict over there.
“The public there have had to endure a painful 18 months or whatever.
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“If people are going to come in to the country and potentially risk an outbreak in their community or whatever, that’s understandable.
“It’s not to say you can’t play. You might just have to leave a few weeks earlier than everyone else.
“That’s the player’s choice. If the local government puts that in place then, I’d support that.
“It would be great if more players got vaccinated. I support vaccination. I hope that more of the players get it done.”
It comes after Victoria’s sports minister Martin Pakula warned stars face being blocked from playing in January’s Grand Slam if they haven’t had a jab.
He said: “If I was an ATP or WTA player, I’d be getting vaccinated.
“That will give them the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open with the more minimal restrictions that might be in place for those people.
“Whether or not unvaccinated people are allowed in (to Australia) at all, I don’t know the answer to that yet.
“That’s going to be the subject, I suspect, of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet.
“As for the rules that might apply around the Australian Open, specifically, we’re in discussions with Tennis Australia and the department of health about that.”
Elsewhere, Murray will skip next month’s Davis Cup finals because he feels he doesn’t ‘deserve’ a place in the GB squad.
Th former world No 1 has a strong relationship with the tennis team tournament, guiding Leon Smith’s troops to a sensational victory in 2015.
Yet the two-time Wimbledon champion has no intention of playing group matches against France and Czech Republic in Innsbruck, Austria, with the knockout stages in Madrid.
When he appeared two years ago in the Spanish capital in the inaugural event, Murray suffered bruising to his pelvis which saw him miss the Australian Open in the New Year.
‘NOT SURE I DESERVE IT’
Murray, 34, told the BBC: “I’ve given a lot to the Davis Cup and sometimes to my own detriment physically.
“The same thing happened last time I played Davis Cup at the end of 2019.
“I know there was coronavirus but I was struggling with that really up until September time the following year.
“I also don’t feel right now I would be playing, either.
“Obviously that would be up to Leon but I’m not sure I deserve to play in that team.
“Right now, I’m not planning on playing the Davis Cup and with the late finish to it, and early departure to Australia, with my schedule between now and the end of the year.
“I’m going to have to rest and take a break and give my body a chance to breathe.
“I want to make sure in the off season I get to spend as much time with my family as I can.”
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The world No 121 delivered a foul-mouthed response as he exited the BNP Paribas Open third round following a 6-4 7-6 loss to Alexander Zverev in Indian Wells.
The Scot simply wrote ‘F**’ on Twitter at 4am yesterday morning after the defeat to the controversial German, who is at the centre of domestic violence allegations.
Murray has accepted a wildcard to play in Antwerp and Vienna over the next two weeks.