Discontent, but also call for understanding in Melbourne: ‘Prior to play later’

Before the Australian Open starts well and well, nine positive corona-virus artists have already been handed in to Melbourne. There were three more cases on Tuesday.

All nine of them come from the entourage of the pros who arrived in South Australia last weekend.

It is yet another worrying development around the first grandslam tournament of the New Year, of which the main tournament will not start until February 8th. The division over the continuation of the Australian Open is growing every day.


The boss of the grandslam tournament, Craig Tiley, turned to the tennis community for the first time and spoke to a large part of them. โ€œThe vast majority of players understand what we do and support us,โ€ says Tily against the Australian Nine Network.

โ€œ They know that they have to do this, so that they can once again enjoy the privilege of fighting for 80 million dollars in prize money. We take the few players who see this differently for granted.โ€

โ€œ And yes, it is an unequal battle when we start the tournament later, but we are going to do our best to equalize the conditions for everyone as much as possible.โ€


A number of players decided not to travel to Australia as a precaution, while another number complained about the mandatory quarantine of two weeks after arrival Down Under.

In addition, 72 tennis players now have to stay in a hotel room for two weeks, because they flew to Australia on a plane in which positive infections were detected. Among them is Botic van de Zandschulp, who is preparing for his grandslam debut in Melbourne, but is now obligatory in isolation.

Also Victoria Azarenka, former number one in the world, is among 72 players who can do nothing but wait and see in their hotel room. It is precisely in an open letter that calls for understanding for the authorities.

โ€œ I understand all the frustrations and feelings of injustice. To be in quarantine for two weeks is hard, since everyone has worked very hard to be fit for this tournament. But sometimes things like this happen, and you have to adjust. You have to accept it and just go on.โ€

Players who were not on one of the infected flights are only allowed to leave the hotel for training. This is within the framework of the tightened measures.

This led to a great deal of dissatisfaction, because the facilities and conditions would be far from ideal. Poor wifi, lack of fresh air (closed windows) and lousy hygiene.

Kazakh Yulia Puetintseva shared a video on social media showing a mouse walking through her hotel room.

There is also criticism of the top players who have been placed elsewhere and enjoy more privileges. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams are preparing for the Australian Open around a demonstration event in Adelaide.

‘Show respect

Azarenka mainly called on the tennis world to show respect. โ€œRespect for all those who have worked their way around to make our lives easier,โ€ said the Belarusian.

Read below the open letter Azarenka posted on her social media