Victoria Azarenka skips Stuttgart event to get COVID-19 vaccine

Players who have been vaccinated are no longer considered as close contacts of anyone testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

Victoria Azarenka returns to Ashleigh Barty during the Miami Open tennis tournament, March 29, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla.   -  AP

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka said she has pulled out of next week's WTA 500 event in Stuttgart as it coincides with her scheduled COVID-19 vaccination.

"I will unfortunately not be able to compete in Stuttgart ... next week as I will be receiving my first dose of the vaccine at the same time," the Belarusian world No. 15 said on Twitter.

READ | WTA urges players to get COVID-19 vaccine

While both the ATP and WTA Tours have encouraged athletes to accept vaccine shots when available some of the top players expressed a reluctance to get vaccinated at the recent Miami Open.

Under updated COVID-19 protocols on the men's tour, players who have been vaccinated are no longer considered as close contacts of anyone testing positive for the novel coronavirus.