No less than 47 tennis players participating in the Australian Open have to spend fourteen days in full quarantine in their hotel rooms in Melbourne and are not allowed out 5 hours a day to train. They were on planes containing people infected with the coronavirus.
According to Australian media, Belarusian Viktoria Azarenka, American Sloane Stephens and Japanese Kei Nishikori are among the affected occupants. The flight was from Los Angeles. Later it became known that on board a charter flight from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne someone had corona under life.
On the plane from Los Angeles, the positively tested passengers were supposedly a crew member and a coach. They were transferred to a separate hotel for infected people. ‘All other 66 passengers have been identified as close contacts. Players and coaches are not allowed out of their quarantine to attend trainings”, said a statement by the special corona authority of the Australian Open.
French tennis player Alizé Cornet speaks of a ‘insane‘ situation in Melbourne. “Weeks and weeks of training are lost by one person who is positive on corona in a three-quarters filled plane. Soon, maybe half of all players will have to be in isolation. I’m sorry, but this is insane,” tweeted Cornet, the current number 53 of the world. Later she deleted the tweet.
The first grandslam of this year starts three weeks later than planned due to the coronapandemic, namely 8 February. Players will have to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in Melbourne, but will be allowed to leave their room for 5 hours a day to prepare for the tournament.
The top 3 of the world ranking among men and women goes up to the Australian Open Melbourn first to Adelaide. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka spend their mandatory two-week quarantine in that city. They also play a demonstration tournament in Adelaide before coming to Melbourne.
A number of players have already unsubscribed. Roger Federer is not fit enough, as is Kiki Bertens. The American John Isner is not coming because he thinks the coronare rules are too strict. His compatriot Madison Keys withdrew because she was tested positive. The same goes for the Scottish Andy Murray, which makes his participation doubtful.