Nineteen-year-old Australian Olivia Gadecki stands firm by the conviction not to get the COVID-19 vaccine and is hence not eligible to play the 2022 Australian Open. The teenage sensation is thus leaving on the table at least $100,000 in prize money.
The 2021 tennis season made Gadecki a national star. From an unranked player at the start of the year, the Queenslander reached a WTA career-high of No.230. The stellar rise in the rankings was a result of two titles and four finals on the ITF circuit.
The Gold Coast native made her WTA main draw debut at the 2021 Gippsland Trophy. In her first ever match against a Top 100 opponent, Gadecki lost in three sets to Bernarda Pera. Just two weeks later, at the Phillip Island Trophy in February, Gadecki became the first unranked teenager to defeat a Top 10 player in 24 years with an upset of top seed and former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.
Supposedly, Tennis Australia tried to convince Gadecki to get vaccinated and use the Australian Open wildcard that she would definitely receive, but the rising star decided to pass on the opportunity. Just by playing the first round of the Grand Slam, players are guaranteed approx. $100,000 in prize money. Naturally, if they progress further, the award gets higher. (source: 7news)