Melbourne, Dec 21World No. 32 and a semi-finalist at the 2021 Australian Open, Karolina Muchova has withdrawn from the next year’s event, the Czech player said in a statement on Tuesday.
“I’m sad to announce that my 2022 season will not start in Australia. I’m doing all I can to get back on the court as soon as I’m able,” Muchova wrote on Twitter.
Muchova is the latest player to pull out of the January 17-30 Australian Open, with Jennifer Brady, Karolina Pliskova, Serena Williams, Bianca Andreescu and Roger Federer also ruled out of the year’s first major.
Earlier, Russian player Natalia Vikhlyantseva has pulled out from the 2022 Australian Open due to an unverified vaccine. Tournament officials have made it clear that players will have to be double jabbed if they are to compete at Melbourne Park next year.
World number 194 Vikhlyantseva is fully vaccinated, but she opted to take the Sputnik V vaccine, which has not been approved by the authorities Down Under. Therefore, Vikhlyantseva is ineligible to compete at the tournament and took to Twitter to confirm the disappointing news.
“Unfortunately, I will not participate in this year’s AO event. I’m really happy with the level of tennis I showed at the last few events and I wish to play in Australia but Sputnik is not verified yet. Good luck to all participants and the AO team, who always made amazing events,” she wrote.
The 24-year-old is the first recognised player to skip the tournament citing the unapproved status of Sputnik V.