Nicolas Mahut defends Pierre-Hugues Herbert over vaccine views

Herbert pulled out of the Australian Open because of the vaccination mandate.

by Dzevad Mesic
Nicolas Mahut defends Pierre-Hugues Herbert over vaccine views

Nicolas Mahut has come to the defence of Pierre-Hugues Herbert as he insists his good friend should not be criticized for his vaccine views. Herbert became the first player to publicly pull out of the Australian Open due to the vaccination mandate.

"I am not on the side of people who judge and say that it is good or that it is bad. I respect his decision. I didn't make that choice, I got the vaccine very early on, but I totally understand. It’s a very personal choice.

It is probably with me that Pierre-Hugues talks the least about it. This is an extremely sensitive subject. I don't want to get into a possible controversy. I just tell myself that this is a position that is not easy to maintain when you are a tennis player.

I don't know how far he will stick to his beliefs. How much it threatens to undermine him and prevent him from doing his job. When I say I refuse to go play in China to support Peng Shuai, it's easy, it doesn't impact my season.

He, on the other hand, can put his season in danger," Mahut told L'Equipe, as revealed on We Love Tennis.

Herbert explained his decision

"Personally, I am not vaccinated and the trip to Australia was not an option for me,” Herbert said, in comments published in French media outlet L’Alsace.

“I do what I can. But because of my singles ranking, it may have been a bad thing (to go to Australia) for a good start." However, Herbert didn't rule out taking the vaccine. "For my part, it is a personal choice not to be vaccinated,” Herbert said.

“I don’t know how long it will last. I don’t know if it’s feasible today to be a tennis player without being vaccinated. “There is not only Australia. Today, there are the United States, Austria ... it is a rather complex topic”.

Nicolas Mahut Pierre-Hugues Herbert Australian Open