Dominic Thiem revealed earlier this month that he is yet to be vaccinated, since he is waiting for a particular vaccine (Novavax) to be ready for use. The Austrian did claim he would get the jab soon, but if he fails to do so then he would be subject to tough restrictions in the lead-up to the 2022 Australian Open.
Some reports have even suggested double vaccination could be a mandatory requirement for participation in the Melbourne Slam. A leaked email from earlier on Monday claimed that unvaccinated players would be allowed to play after a two-week quarantine period, but even that is not something any player would be happy to go through.
In that context, Austrian musician-cum-doctor Marco Pogo recently gave his two cents on the vaccine hesitancy among celebrities. Speaking in an interview with Radio Wien ORF, Pogo severely criticized Thiem's decision to wait for so long, and urged him to get vaccinated at the earliest.
Pogo even called the 2020 US Open champion "stupid" for not having gotten the jab yet.
"Dominic Thiem should surround himself with people who can give him better advice than he currently receives," Marco Pogo said. "He shouldn’t be so stupid and must get vaccinated at the earliest."
Pogo also happens to be a politician and founder of the Beer Party, a political group based in Vienna. During the interview he claimed that he ensures all his fans are vaccinated before attending his concerts by personally giving them the jab.
After poor 2021 season, Dominic Thiem would be hoping that nothing gets in the way of his Australian Open participation
Dominic Thiem had a dream couple of seasons in 2019 and 2020, culminating in his maiden Slam trophy at the US Open. But mental fatigue and a series of injuries in 2021 ended up halting the 28-year-old's progress big time.
Thiem didn't get off to a great start at the Australian Open, crashing out in the fourth round. In April, after making multiple attempts to get back to form at various ATP tournaments, he decided to take some time off due to a persistent knee injury.
The Austrian admitted in an interview back then that he was in pain from the beginning of the season, but he was positive about recovering and making a strong comeback in time for Roland Garros.
As per plan, Thiem did make a comeback at Roland Garros in May, but his campaign was unsuccessful as he suffered a first-round defeat to Pablo Andujar. Immediately after that, a wrist injury at the Mallorca Open in June led to him pulling out of the 2021 season.
It has been a rough patch for Dominic Thiem, which is why the 2022 Australian Open holds a lot of importance for him. The Austrian will likely try everything in his power to be able to play the year's first Slam, including getting vaccinated.