A third flight from the middle east carrying players to the Australian Open had a positive test
Late Sunday in Australia things went from bad to worse for event organizers, and more players are now officially stuck in hard quarantine. A flight from Doha had a person who tested positive upon arrival, and the number of players stuck now in strict quarantine has jumped from 47 to 72.
Craig Tiley, the Australian Open tournament director, was asked by Melbourne 9 News if he would consider moving the tournament back due to the fact there were so many players were stuck in this situation, and to potentially give them more time to get ready for the first Grand Slam of the year.
He stuck to his position and said they are still on track to start the tournament on February 8th and said they are at the disposal of the players with whatever they needed. It was also reported that Novak Djokovic sent a letter to Tiley outlining requests to make it fair for all the players.
Some of those demands, which will probably not happen, include sending players to rented houses with a tennis court so they can practice or being able to visit their coach if both tested negative. One player on the men’s side was already given a warning for opening his door and yelling to his friend across the hall in the hotel.
The first warm-up events for both men and women starts the 31st of January, meaning those quarantine would literally have two days before playing a warm-up event to get ready. Players took to social media to vent their frustration, most notably Belinda Bencic, Alize Cornet (she has since deleted the tweet and apologized), and Vasek Pospisil, who confirmed via a tweet he was one of the positive cases on the flight from Los Angeles.
Most players even went on Instagram to show how they are preparing, including Pablo Cuevas, who showed he put one of his beds against a wall and started hitting a ball against it. Yulia Putintseva showed herself practicing hitting a ball against the window of the hotel.
Main Photo from Getty.