Novak Djokovic – number one in the men’s world – is under quarantine with other top players in Adelaide, where they are allowed to train from their hotel

Players who live under strict quarantine rules after arriving at the Australian Open will “receive no special treatment,” says Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews.

Seventy-two players have been locked in their Melbourne hotel rooms for 14 days following positive coronavirus test results on flights scheduled for the event.

At least nine infected people – including one player – are in quarantine, Officials say.

“The virus doesn’t treat you special, neither do we,” said Andrews.

Some players have complained that a tougher 14-day quarantine was not required.

With the Grand Slam tournament kicking off February 8th, players hit balls against the walls and windows of their rooms to stay sharp.

“I know some players have talked a little about the rules,” said Andrews.

“The rules apply to them as to everyone else and they were all informed before they came, and that was the condition on which they came.

“So there is no special treatment here.”

The affected players were seen as close contacts of the four Covid-19 cases on the three planes arriving from Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

French player Alize Cornet, who was not among the 72 players affected, apologized after initially saying the decision to leave her in her room was “insane”.

Kazakhstan’s world number 28 Yulia Putintseva said players weren’t told they would be confined to their rooms if one person tests positive on the entire flight.

Others said they were made aware of the possible scenario by tournament bosses.

Gordon Reid, Britain’s two-time men’s wheelchair Grand Slam champion, is one of those players confined to his room who says it’s a “fuss minority”.

“But most of the time this minority is the loudest,” added the Scot.

The players who were not forced to the stricter restrictions are allowed to leave their rooms for up to five hours a day.

After delays due to Covid tests and transportation problems, training at Melbourne Park has finally started.

Many players have had their sessions canceled while test results have been confirmed. Often they waited in their room for the transport, which never arrived.

Tennis Australia says it has been “a challenging couple of days” as they worked to keep everyone safe when practice begins.

“We understand that this was frustrating for the players and we apologize,” a spokesman told the BBC.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here