Australian Open: Players in quarantine up to 72, even opening door could attract $20k fine


Now that the PCR take a look at outcomes have began to come again, nervousness has set in among the many gamers getting ready to compete on the Australian Open. Three people, together with 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu’s coach Sylvain Bruneau, examined optimistic for COVID-19 after arriving in Melbourne on flights from Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi. This led to all of the 47 gamers aboard the 2 planes to be pressured right into a 14-day laborious quarantine.

On Sunday, a fourth particular person, aboard a chartered flight from Doha examined optimistic after touchdown in Melbourne. The variety of gamers in quarantine until January 29 has gone up to 72 now.

This contains two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber, two-time main winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2017 and 2019 US Open champions Sloane Stephens and Andreescu, and former males’s singles World No.4 Kei Nishikori.

Tennis Australia, organisers of the yr’s first main, had secured permission from the Victorian Government to enable gamers to depart their lodge rooms for a most of 5 hours a day in order to observe and prepare. That luxurious nevertheless, is not going to be granted to the 63 gamers who have been on board the three planes that had a person (no gamers) take a look at optimistic.

This has led to an array of complaints from gamers and instances of protocol breaches have been reported.

Opening door

According to Seven News, two gamers have been caught opening their lodge room doorways regardless of being warned not to achieve this. One participant is alleged to have “opened his door to try and have a conversation with his training mates down the hallway,” stated Emma Cassar, head of Victoria’s Department of Corrections, which offers with points like public well being and security.

“You can pick up the phone and use that instead of putting yourself and other people at risk.”

Another participant had opened his door to shout at “the maids and to some other people on the floor. (He) was praising himself for his great efforts, and opened his door to do so. (These instances are) very low level, but they are dangerous acts that we cannot tolerate.”

Reportedly, Tennis Australia and the state authorities had agreed that gamers could also be fined up to AUD 20,000 (over INR 11 lakh) for protocol breaches. But Cassar is contemplating having a Victoria Police officer positioned exterior the door of normal offenders.

These actions have led to considerations about participant behaviour. During one of many flights from Abu Dhabi, Kuznetsova had taken {a photograph} in which she was seen with out her masks – because it turned out, there was a optimistic case on that flight.

In-room coaching

Unable to depart their rooms, gamers have began figuring out inside with no matter gear they’ve. Doubles specialist Santiago Gonzalez has put up movies on his Instagram account the place he’s seen doing crunches and different body-weight workouts.

Vasek Pospisil of Canada has been working with resistance bands, Alison Riske used a carton of bottled water as weights, Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva has been utilizing a wall to hit a ball in opposition to, and Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas has simulated browsing on his mattress. Amidst the social media posts, there have been complaints about sluggish Wi-Fi, or even no web. Fabio Fognini and US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta have complained in regards to the meals, and Putintseva has printed a video of a mouse in her room.

Players uninformed

Frustrated at being pressured into a tough quarantine, World No.28 Putintseva posted on Twitter: “What I don’t understand is that, why no one ever told us, if one person on board is positive the whole plane needs to be isolated. I would think twice before coming here.” Her sentiment was echoed by Romania’s World No.71 Sorana Cirstea. “If they would have told us this rule before I would not play (in) Australia… I would have stayed home. They told us we would fly at 20 percent capacity, in sections and we would be a close contact only if my team or cohort tests positive.”

‘We are still lucky’

Amidst the complaints that gamers have been uninformed and are being handled unfairly, New Zealand’s doubles specialist Artem Sitak posted a video to put issues “into perspective.” “We had a call with Tennis Australia about a month ago, and not a lot of players were on that call, which was surprising to me,” stated the doubles World No.78, who was on board the flight from Los Angeles that had two optimistic instances.

“Tennis Australia and the organisers told us the risks that we were going to be undertaking and they did mention that if somebody tests positive on the flight it will be up to the health authorities to decide whether they want to quarantine the whole flight or isolate compartments of the plane.”

Big-serving World No.25 John Isner had determined to skip the Australian Open due to the COVID-19 protocols in place. “I think we need to put some things into perspective,” added Sitak. “A lot of Australians cannot get back home because of restrictions and we as foreigners, over a 1000 people, are here in Australia, we are going to be competing in a Grand Slam, earning a lot of money. We are still lucky to be here.”


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