Umpire suffers heart attack as another Australian Open player tests positive for Covid-19

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Spanish player Paula Badosa has announced she has tested positive for coronavirus during quarantine in Australia on a day when it was also confirmed that umpire Carlos Bernardes is recovering in hospital from a suspected heart attack.

The 23-year-old, ranked 67, is the first player to be named as an active case a week after more than 1,000 people connected to the Australian Open began to arrive in the country.

In a social media post, Badosa wrote: “I have some bad news. Today I received a positive Covid-19 test result. I’m feeling unwell and have some symptoms, but I’ll try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors.

“I’ve been taken to a health hotel to self isolate and be monitored. Thanks for your support. We’ll be back stronger.”

On Wednesday, local officials reported that a total of 10 people who travelled to Australia for the tournament had tested positive, but some of those were likely to be viral shedding, where someone who has previously had the virus still has it in their system but is no longer contagious.

Despite Badosa’s positive test, the Spanish tennis federation (RFET) chose Thursday to call for a relaxation of the tightest restrictions affecting two of its players.

Qualifiers Mario Vilella Martinez and 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz are among the 72 players who are confined to their rooms for 14 days following a positive test on their flight to Australia.

In a statement, the RFET also said players were not aware of the possibility they would have to undertake a strict quarantine without the daily breaks for training that had been negotiated, something that has been categorically denied by tournament director Craig Tiley.

The statement read: “It is clear that these two players will not be able to compete on equal terms with the rest of the players. And it is not only a competitive problem of this first grand slam. The issue is that their season could be severely damaged by a 14-day lockdown.

“The affected tennis players are elite athletes who need to stay active to be able to perform and not to get injured. Not to mention the psychological damage that affects the athlete in a sport in which the mental facet is so demanding.

“For all these reasons, from the RFET we ask Tennis Australia to try to solve the problem of the most affected tennis players.”

Meanwhile, leading umpire Carlos Bernardes is recovering after being taken to hospital on Wednesday having reportedly suffered a heart attack during quarantine.

The ATP said: “Following admittance to hospital (non-Covid related) on Wednesday in Melbourne, we are pleased to report that ATP Umpire Carlos Bernardes is recovering well. Carlos passes on his gratitude for all the well wishes he’s received, and we wish him all the best for a full recovery.”

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