Who is Stefanos Tsitsipas’s girlfriend Theodora Petalas? Tennis star won't take covid vaccine
'I am not against vaccines, but I don't see any reason for someone of my age to do it,' he said, angering the Greek governement
Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas is reportedly refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine as he sees “no reason for someone in my age group to be vaccinated.” The 23-year-old, who is currently the world No 3 and on Thursday, August 19 bested Lorenzo Sonego to advance to the last eight at the 2021 Western & Southern Open, has reportedly angered the Greek government with his stance on the vaccine.
Tsitsipas caused a stir at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, when he told reporters that he worried about the side effects of the vaccine. "I am not against vaccines, but I don't see any reason for someone of my age to do it -- it hasn't been tested enough and it has side effects -- as long as it's not mandatory, everyone can decide for themselves," he told the press at the tournament on August 18.
A spokesman for the Greek government slammed his comments. "He does not have the knowledge and studies to assess the need for vaccinations," said government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou. "Stefanos Tsitsipas is a great athlete, his skills in sports and his contribution to sports in the country is unquestionable. What is at stake, however, is his ability to assess the need for vaccinations or whether the vaccine has been tested for a sufficient period of time. And ... he has neither the knowledge nor the studies nor the research work that would allow him to form an opinion about it."
Oikonomou encouraged people to listen to health policy experts. He said Tsitsipas and other celebrities should be careful with their words given their sizable public influence. "Those who through their excellent performance in other places are also a point of reference for wider social groups, it would be good to be doubly careful in expressing such views," he said.
Who is Stefanos Tsitsipas’s girlfriend?
The tennis star’s girlfriend is Theodora Petalas, an NYU graduate with a degree in project management. Speaking with Tennis Majors in an interview back in April, Tsitsipas said that they had known each other for three years through family friends.
“We first met in New York and I liked her very much, but I was shy then and did not express my feelings,” he said. “But two years ago, again in New York, I asked her out on a date. I asked her to go to Brooklyn to snap some photos and I think she liked that. I did take some photos, which to this day are my favorites!”
“She is someone who has supported me a lot, she’s brought me great balance and I have a lot of feelings for her,” he further said. “I think she feels the same! Our relationship is something very special. The fact that we understand each other and have things in common -- personality-wise -- helps a lot”.
He also revealed that it was a long-distance relationship. “It’s a little difficult for us because she lives in London, but thankfully it hasn’t brought us to extremes,” he said. “She comes to some tournaments to support me and so we can spend some time together. She is my best friend.”
Tsitsipas said that the two talk every day, and have been doing so for two or three years now. He said, “I don’t think a day has gone by that we haven’t spoken, and our chemistry is very good. She also plays tennis, and when I play with her, it is my favorite moment on the court! It brings a huge smile to my face.”
Speaking with Vogue earlier this month, Tsitsipas said that Petalas helped him with his styling as well. “My wardrobe was quite weak, and I didn’t have a game there,” he said. “I wanted to start dressing up a bit, so we tried to create an identity.” The two settled for “earthy colors,” nothing too flashy. “I started investing more in fashion, and I’ve seen that transition kind of benefit me a lot and make me feel better about myself.”