Distressing scenes unfolded at Wednesday night’s Sydney ATP Cup match between Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashivili and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The dramatic situation began when Basilashivili indicated he had chest pains and was struggling to breathe early in the match.
Basilashivili, ranked No. 22 in the world, had to exit the match while down 4-1 in the first set. The contest was eventually canceled as the Georgian tennis star couldn’t continue.
Fully Vaccinated Tennis Star Nikoloz Basilashivili Forced To Quit Game After Chest Pains, Breathing Difficulties https://t.co/hXibflBRjK
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https://t.co/LnzKGO7KJL Proudly presented by https://t.co/LnzKGO7KJL ‘This is very concerning’: Play brought to halt, doctor called to court at ATP Cup: Dramatic scenes unfolded at Sydney’s ATP Cup on Wednesday night when Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashivili… https://t.co/Dn0eY7zEk7 pic.twitter.com/3DlZ1osxPL
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A doctor and physiotherapist attended to a visibly rattled Basilashvili, who sat courtside with his Georgian teammates.
“This is concerning, very concerning I would say,” Colin Fleming said in commentary for Stan Sport.
“If you feel like you can’t take any kind of deep breath at this level and this intensity, that’s an issue.”
In the broadcast of the game, Basilashvili could be heard telling his team “every shot I’m out of breath”.
Soon afterwards, he repeatedly told medical staff he was “struggling to breathe”.
Basilashvili was not hobbled as medical staff assisted him from the court, but did appear shaken. When he returned from the dressing rooms, play was called off and the match was awarded to Tsitsipas and Team Greece.
The COVID World highlighted the strict COVID-19 jab requirements to participate in the tournament:
Australia’s vaccination rules mandate all players taking part in the ATP Cup to be fully vaccinated, a rule that caused Novak Djokovic to withdraw from the tournament last month.
The ATP Cup is a men’s tennis tournament played across three Australian cities over 10 days in the lead up to the Australian Open.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic reportedly was detained by Australian authorities and faces deportation for not providing “appropriate evidence” for his medical exemption from Australia’s COVID-19 jab mandate.
The Serbian tennis star obtained a medical exemption that would shield him from the Victoria state government’s strict COVID-19 jab policies for the major tournament.
However, reports indicate border authorities did not accept the exemption, and Djokovic’s visa was canceled.