The Australian authorities have refused to ease the quarantine of the tennis players who will play the Australian Open. The request had been made by the number one of the ATP, Novak Djokovic, after up to 72 tennis players were forced to stay for two weeks without leaving their rooms for sharing a plane with passengers who had tested positive for COVID-19.
“People are free to present a list of demands, but the answer is no,” the man answered sharply. head of the Victorian state government, Daniel Andrews. The request came from Novak Djokovic, number one in the ATP and defender of the crown at the Australian Open, who by means of a letter would have asked Craig Tiley, President of Tennis Australia, to soften the measures and allow tennis players to train, according to the website specialized in Point Break tennis.
However, the request fell on deaf ears. “There is no special treatment for anyone”, Daniel Andrews remarked. Despite the fact that there have been many tennis players who have claimed not to know that they should pass a strict quarantine with any positive among the passengers – regardless of whether they had been in close contact with them or not – Andrews assures that the rules were very clear.
“I know some players have talked a bit about the rules. Well, the rules apply to them like they apply to everyone else, and they were all briefed on that before they came, and that was the condition they came in, “Andrews said. There is no special treatment here. Why the virus doesn’t treat you especially. So neither do we “, he pointed.
The number of isolated tennis players rises to 72
The number of tennis players who will have to remain in strict quarantine for the next two weeks – in three the Australian Open-, now amounts to 72 tennis players. Apart from the flights from Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi with three positives among their passengers, another one from Doha was added in which they traveled, among others, Carlos Alcaraz and his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero.
When the positives for coronavirus of some of the passengers with whom they shared a flight to Melbourne became known, the quarantine measures became stricter to the point of prohibiting players from leaving their rooms for two weeks, thus giving up the possibility of train for a maximum of five hours that were originally allowed.
This was a great commotion among many tennis players, even the possibility of a boycott of the tournament or the dates being delayed was put on the table. This last aspect has been ruled out by the organization, ensuring that the tournament calendar -from February 8 to 21- will be maintained.
The impossibility of training, dissatisfaction with the meals received at the hotel, etc. have been the main criticisms of many of the affected tennis players. For this reason, Novak Djokovic, who is quarantined in Adelaide, decided to show solidarity with his teammates and ask that they be able to train and receive a diet according to their status as elite athletes. But the governor of Victoria has been clear and will not open his hand.