Aman Dahiya misses out on Australian Open

The dreams of Aman Dahiya to play the Australian Open junior tennis event in Melbourne could not materialise owing to strict vaccination rules.

FILE PHOTO: The 17-year-old Aman, ranked 142 in the world among juniors, was scheduled to compete in the qualifying event of the Australian Open.   -  KAMESH SRINIVASAN

The dreams of Aman Dahiya to play the Australian Open junior tennis event in Melbourne could not materialise owing to strict vaccination rules.

"We have got the visa for Aman, but the Australian Open officials have been very firm in sticking to their stipulation. We did explain that under-18 vaccination had not yet started in India. We were also thinking of getting the vaccination done in some other country, but nothing could work’’, explained coach Jignesh Rawal who trains Aman at the Altevol Academy in Ahmedabad.

The 17-year-old Aman, ranked 142 in the world among juniors, was scheduled to compete in the qualifying event of the Australian Open. Prior to that he was also scheduled to play a grade-1 junior event in Australia in Traralgon.

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"You will not be allowed to play the Australian Open junior championships or J1 Traralgon events if you are not fully vaccinated’’, wrote Francis Soyer from Tennis Australia.

An exemption was sought for Aman, but after consultation with the "independent expert medical panel’’, the organisers denied exemption.

"Under current Australian guidelines, the applicant would be considered eligible for vaccination and therefore does not qualify for exemption’’, said the communication from Australia.

Coach Jignesh Rawal said that the focus would now be to prepare Aman for the French Open in May, by which time, the vaccination process would have also been completed.

"Aman will play the two grade-2 junior events in Delhi and Kolkata. We will prepare for the French Open in the best possible way’’, said Jignesh.

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