Quarantine remains in place for 72 players ahead of Australian Open
Quarantine restrictions will not be relaxed for any of the 72 tennis players confined to their hotel rooms despite the reclassification of two coronavirus cases.
Players on three of the charter flights arranged by Australian Open organisers were told they must stay in their rooms for 14 days because of positive tests returned by a small number of those on the planes.
On Tuesday, Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton revealed that two of those positive tests had been deemed viral shedding rather than active cases, meaning that person had already recovered from coronavirus and was no longer infectious.
But that did not change the status of any of the flights, meaning all the 72 players remain unable to train outside of their rooms.
Sutton told Australian media: “This does not change broader assessment of the player group in hotel quarantine. As yet, none of the three affected flights have been cleared as a result of the two reclassified cases.”
Three new cases associated with the Australian Open were announced on Tuesday, including two players, although it is not known whether they are active or viral shedding.
Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut was the latest player to earn criticism in the Australian media for complaining about the quarantine conditions.
The @AustralianOpen covid crisis is deepening with three new cases, and players claiming they’re being treated like prisoners. One star lashed out at the Victorian Government, likening the strict quarantine to jail, describing the tournament as a disaster. @NickMcCallum7 #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/7R0JX6NEt1
— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) January 19, 2021
The world No 13 was shown by Israeli TV channel Sport 5 likening the conditions to jail and saying the restrictions were a disaster.
Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan has been one of the most outspoken complainants and she posted a picture of herself on Instagram holding up a sign reading: “We need fresh air to breathe.”
The critics have received the most publicity but there are plenty of players who have accepted the restrictions without complaint and appreciate how their situation looks to Melburnians, who endured the strictest lockdown in the world to reduce community cases to zero.
📝 💭 pic.twitter.com/BWTqubGMR3
— victoria azarenka (@vika7) January 19, 2021
Two-time former Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka wrote in a long Twitter post addressing her fellow players: “This has been a very difficult time for a lot of us that did not expect to end up in the situation we are in today, myself included.
“To be in a 14 day hard quarantine is very tough to accept in terms of all the work that everyone has been putting in during their off-season – to be prepared for playing our first grand slam of the year.
“I understand all the frustration and feeling of unfairness that has been coming and it is overwhelming.
Grateful to be out here. But truly, truly appreciative of those that have worked so hard, and sacrificed so much just to give us the opportunity to compete ❤️🥰🙏🏼 #AustralianOpen pic.twitter.com/h4Oc30ys1d
— Katie Boulter (@katiecboulter) January 19, 2021
“We have a global pandemic, nobody has a clear playbook of how to operate at full capacity and without a glitch, we all have seen it last year. Sometimes things happen and we need to accept, adapt and keep moving!
“I would like to ask all my colleagues for cooperation, understanding and empathy for the local community that has been going through a lot of very demanding restrictions that they did not choose, but were forced to follow.”
Follow us on Twitter @T365Official and like our Facebook page.
Emma Raducanu’s big injury concern after Bianca Andreescu defeat
Constantly shaking the wrist that has given her so much concern over the last year, it was clear that Emma Raducanu was in pain.
Iga Swiatek feels Roger Federer’s influence at On
Iga Swiatek said Roger Federer’s endorsement is all On need to crack tennis.
Bianca Andreescu topples Emma Raducanu in Miami Open ding-dong
Bianca Andreescu won a thrilling clash with Emma Raducanu that could have gone either way.
Holger Rune keen to move on from Stan Wawrinka saga
Holger Rune has learned his lessons.
Stefanos Tsitsipas blames ATP Tour ball changes for injury, calls for rule review
Stefanos Tsitsipas says his shoulder injury is from hitting the new, heavier balls.
Iga Swiatek pulls out of Miami Open and BJK Cup with injury
The world number one was due to play American Claire Liu in the second round of the tournament on Thursday after receiving a bye.
ATP announces return of Chinese events for the 2024 season
The 2024 ATP Tour season calendar has been announced.
Carlos Alcaraz keen to steer clear of Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic GOAT debate as he eyes his own legacy
Carlos Alcaraz wants to write his own history and create his own legacy.
Are Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina women’s tennis’ big three?
Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina have the makings of a new big three.
Naomi Osaka reveals baby bump for the first time on social media
Naomi Osaka and her baby bump out and about in Japan.