Forty-seven tennis players are not off to a good start in Melbourne, as they’ll have to isolate in their hotel rooms for 14 days because some people on their charter flights from Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles have tested positive for COVID-19. This will greatly impact the players’ preparation for the Australian Open, as they won’t be able to practice on court.
Upon landing in Melbourne, a total of three people from two flights tested positive and even though none of the players have coronavirus they will not be allowed to leave their hotel rooms for a fortnight — 23 players from one flight and 24 from the other. The players that are affected include Bianca Andreescu, Angelique Kerber, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ons Jabeur, Marta Kostyuk, Belinda Bencic, and Maria Sakkari.
A person on the Abu Dhabi flight that flew to Melbourne on Thursday & arrived on Friday has tested positive for Covid-19. Some players on that flight include Andreescu, Kerber, Kuznetsova, Jabeur, Kostyuk, Bencic, Sakkari…
They must aquarantine in their hotel rooms for 14 days pic.twitter.com/sk0f7DMxEk
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) January 16, 2021
Alize Cornet thinks that these strict protocols are insane (later she deleted this statement from Twitter because of too many hate comments):
Soon, half of the players from the Australian Open will actually have to isolate. Weeks and weeks of practice and hard work going to waste for one person positive to COVID in a 3/4 empty plane. Sorry but this is insane.
The 2021 Australian Open starts on February 8th.
This is something we hoped we wouldn’t have to deal with. I understand completely why TA and my Government has taken the stand they have and I dont think there are any other options. Its really unfortunate for the players on those 2 flights but that was the roll of the dice they all took getting on that plane. I guess it means no warm up tournament for them but they will still likely get 7 to 9 days of court time leading in to the tournament if all goers well…just no live match play.
Andy, from my perspective, they are going too far with this rule. The original rule that only close contacts should isolate was enough. The problem here is that the players were informed differently before they decided to travel to Australia.
Allegedly…tennis players are not always the most scholared people and they had been told for months that regardless of what Craig wanted the Aus government would have the final say on what happened. While it might not have been in bold big print I think the warning was always there. They probably never considered that this could happen.
Though I am probably a bit biased