Australian Officials have again made it clear they will be taking a firm stance against any breaches of quarantine or demands from some of Tennis’ most high profile players.
Seventy-two players have now been placed in a strict quarantine environment after three chartered flights arriving for the tournament had three positive COVID-19 cases onboard.
It’s been a difficult couple of days for the Australian Open, with multiple players taking to social media to voice their displeasure, on all things from food to strict quarantine rules.
One such player was world No.1 Novak Djokovic, who has written a letter to Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley with a list of quarantine demands.
They included a request to immediately move players to private houses each with its own tennis court to allow players to train. He also requested a reduction in how long players in strict isolation should have to quarantine for.
Djokovic came under fire in 2020 for flouting COVID-19 safety precautions at the Adria exhibition tournament in June and has already been spotted not wearing a mask in his team bus earlier this week.Embed from Getty Images
His requests were promptly shot down by Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, who robustly affirmed that there would be absolutely no relaxation or change to the rules, which players were aware of before the tournament.
“People are free to provide lists of demands, but the answer is no,” Andrews said yesterday evening.
“And that was very clearly put, that was very clearly laid out beforehand. So the notion that there’s been any change, the notion that people weren’t briefed, I think that argument really has no integrity whatsoever, and don’t just take my word for it.”
“You’ve got other players, who I think on social media and in other forums have made it clear that they were clear on the rules, and I probably can’t be any plainer than that.”
"There's no special treatment here… because the virus doesn't treat you specially" — @DanielAndrewsMP addresses tennis players who are complaining about COVID-19 quarantine ahead of the Australian Open. pic.twitter.com/eyciPO7On8— Wade Shipard (@wadeshipard) January 17, 2021
Doubles player Artem Sitak issued a reality check to his fellow players on Saturday, stating players should “put some things into perspective.”
“Where a lot of Australians right now cannot get back home because of the restrictions, we as foreigners are here in Australia, going to be competing in a grand slam, earning a lot of money, and the amount of work Tennis Australia have put in to organise all this is absolutely insane.”
“I think we’re still lucky to be here.”
Creative quarantine workouts
Meanwhile, other players have been getting creative in quarantine adapting their hotel rooms into makeshift gyms.
Ons Jabeur got stuck in perfecting her backhand on an unconventional new carpet surface.
As you all know, I am one of the players that has been placed in full isolation. Not the easiest news to get but staying strong and making the best of it. I am committed to do whatever it takes to get ready despite the circumstances. Time to get creative 😜 👇👇 pic.twitter.com/pTdZDy0saM— Ons Jabeur (@Ons_Jabeur) January 18, 2021
2020 French Open Champion, Iga Swiatek has been going through what looks like a pretty gruelling training camp in her room.
And British No.2 Heather Watson ran a 5K between her bed and her bathroom. Wow!
5k from the hotel room. Heather Watson's not making any excuses 👏— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) January 18, 2021
Some hustle ✊pic.twitter.com/CDdCwChRFA
For more information and updates on this year’s Australian Open, make sure to follow @AusOpenClub on Facebook and Twitter.
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