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Have Tennis Players Dropped Out of the Australia Open With Chest Pains?
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Have Tennis Players Dropped Out of the Australia Open With Chest Pains?

No. Two players named in viral posts lost in competition, and one didn’t even enter the tournament.

Viral social media posts and articles claim that vaccinated tennis players have pulled out of the Australian Open with chest pains. Most of the posts claim three players—Nikoloz Basilashvili, Nick Kyrgios, and Dalila Jakupović—have withdrawn, while some claim that a fourth has done so, with one including a video of Jakupović as the supposed fourth. 

Both Basilashvili and Kyrgios appeared in the men’s singles draw at the Australian Open this year, and neither withdrew. Basilashvili, seeded 21st, was upset in the first round by wild card entry Andy Murray—the former world No. 1 whose ranking has dropped the past few years following back problems—and Kyrgios lost in the second round in four sets to No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev. Kyrgios is still in the tournament in doubles, and is now in the quarterfinals with partner Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Kyrgios did withdraw from a tuneup tournament in Sydney before the Australian Open, but did so because of a positive COVID test, not because of complications brought on by the coronavirus vaccine. Basilashvili had breathing problems while playing in the ATP Cup earlier this month, but the details of the incident have not been made public.

Jakupović, meanwhile, did not appear at the Australian Open at all this year, and posted a picture from the Dubai Expo 2020—which despite its name runs from October 2021 to March 31, 2022—on Instagram last week. According to the Women’s Tennis Association’s records, Jakupović has not played a professional match since November of last year. The video of her coughing is not from the 2022 Australian Open, it’s from the 2020 Australian Open, where her breathing problems were brought on by poor air quality caused by the then rampant bushfires.

None of the tennis players who supposedly withdrew from the Australian Open because of health problems have actually done so. 

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Alec Dent is a former culture editor and staff writer for The Dispatch.