Ash Barty among players to get COVID-19 vaccine in US

Tennis star Ash Barty was one of several players given access to a COVID-19 vaccine through a WTA Tour initiative at a tournament in South Carolina.

Barty spent the last year back home in Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   -  FILE PHOTO/AP

World number one Ash Barty said she was one of several players given access to a COVID-19 vaccine through a WTA Tour initiative at a tournament in South Carolina earlier this month.

Barty, who turns 25 on Saturday, and her Australian coach Craig Tyzzer were among those who took advantage of the WTA's offer but said she made sure they were not "jumping the queue".

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"We were looking at different avenues to try and get vaccinated without jumping the queue in Australia to see what our options were, and we weren't able to get much of an answer before we left in March," she told reporters at a tournament in Stuttgart.

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"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, and that was important to me knowing that those who were the most vulnerable were able to get it first."

Barty spent the last year back home in Australia, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Miami Open was her first tournament abroad since February 2020.

"It was nice to know that we have got that small layer of protection," Barty said, adding that she had experienced a few side effects from the vaccine.

"We still do the right things and abide by all the rules and the guidelines set in place by the Tour but knowing that we had that little bit of extra protection puts us at ease a bit more."