Teenage sensation Olivia Gadecki is set to miss the entire Australian tennis summer after choosing not to get the shot.
Barely a month after making his Fed Cup debut for Australia, Gadecki has rocked tennis circles with his position which conflicts with government regulations that require all players to be fully vaccinated to compete in the Open d ‘Australia January 17-30.
It is understood that Tennis Australia has been working for weeks to try to convince Gadecki to change his mind.
But the 19-year-old is believed not to budge despite being a contender for a wildcard Open worth $ 100,000 – or more if she gets past the first round.
Mentioned this year by esteemed women’s coach David Taylor, Gadecki had a phenomenal breakout season in 2021 that even caught the attention and admiration of world No.1 Ash Barty.
Unranked at the start of the year, Gadecki rose to 237th in the world after a season of 50 wins, two titles and four finals on lower-tier WTA circuits.
The Queenslander hasn’t looked back since a resounding victory over 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin at the Phillip Island Trophy in Melbourne Park in February.
“Second professional match in history. It is quite a surprising thing. It’s a pretty good story, ”Taylor recently told AAP from its European base in Liechtenstein.
“She had no ranking, zero, on February 1 and here she is already in the top 250 – it’s unheard of.
“In her very first pro game, she lost to the world number 60 in three sets, the second game defeated Kenin, and then in her very first pro event at $ 25,000, she reached the final in Madrid.
“She’s going to be good. This girl will be good, I think.
So good that Barty took a bang, assisting and mentoring.
“Ash really helped her,” Taylor said.
“Forget about doing things for a picture or whatever, Barty puts a serious emphasis on this girl – weekly contact, watch her games online even when she was playing at Wimby (Wimbledon).
“A guy uploaded a photo of Ash looking at her online on an ITF website.
“The hits with her almost always in Brisbane. Like even at Roland Garros when Olivia got a wildcard in qualifying, Ash hit with her on Philippe Chatrier (center court).
“It’s just amazing what Ash did for this girl. She usually stays for herself, Ash, but for Olivia, God, she’s been so supportive and a true mentor. That’s good.”
But unless there is a late change of mind, Australian fans won’t be able to see the emerging talent play this summer.
It is also unclear whether Gadecki’s decision not to get the vaccine will affect her scholarships with Tennis Australia, although it is likely that TA will continue to support her from a distance.