“The 25 players on the flight cannot leave their hotel room for 14 days until they are medically relieved. You are not authorized [practice]”Said the Australian Open in a statement.
Players who arrived on Thursday had agreed to the mandatory quarantine on arrival as a precaution, agreed to stay in their rooms 19 hours a day and practice and train the other five. However, players on charter flights with passengers who tested positive cannot leave their hotel rooms at all. Although tennis officials asked that players who tested negative repeatedly during their first few days in the country be treated indulgently, government officials refused.
Craig Tiley, the tournament director, said the Open would start as planned, but Tennis Australia, the governing body, will be considering possible changes to the pre-tournaments. “We’re reviewing the schedule to see what we can do to help these players,” Tiley told Nine Network (via the Associated Press) on Sunday. “The Australian Open is moving forward and we will continue to do our best to make sure these players have the best chance.”
Still, he added that players and organizers have been warned that positive coronavirus tests pose a “significant risk” of restrictions. “We made it very clear in the beginning,” said Tiley. “Now we have to manage an environment for those who can’t practice for the next 14 days.”
In October, Tiley said he was hoping for flexibility in government rules. “If a player is stuck in a hotel for two weeks just before his season, it won’t happen,” Tiley told the Australian Associated Press at the time. “You can’t ask the players to quarantine for two weeks and then get out and be ready to play a Grand Slam.”
The players did not have to be quarantined during the US Open and the French Open. Instead, there was a bubble and players were regularly tested for the virus. They wore masks between games in Paris.
Just like baseball players improvised by throwing against mattresses last summer, players use whatever they can, whether they hit a ball against a window or an interior wall. Yulia Putintseva, a player from Kazakhstan, clearly showed what the situation is like.
She noted that she may have reconsidered participating in the tournament. “What I don’t understand is why no one has ever told us, if one person on board is sure that the entire plane needs to be isolated, I would think twice before getting here,” she tweeted.
And her hotel room also had a previous occupant: a mouse.
Players like Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta and Italian Fabio Fognini were unhappy with their dining options, and Benoit Paire decided to order from McDonalds.
In an Instagram story, Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine told Spaniard Paula Badosa, from Spain, that she was surprised by the verdict and later added a video of her skipping rope and received a shipment of fresh fruit.
“It’s about the idea of staying in a room for two weeks and being able to take part in competitions,” said Kostyuk, adding that she couldn’t remember the last time she hadn’t taken a racket in two weeks – especially at the first major tournament in 2021. “We have to stay in quarantine, but we have to meet expectations.”