He Australian Open It was the last major tournament on the tennis calendar that was held in 2020 before the arrival of the coronavirus. So, although the virus was already a reality, everything remained hidden from public opinion and the players were able to use themselves normally in one of the most prepared sports complexes on the planet. More than twelve months later, the tournament returns under diametrically opposed conditions, which opt for the maximum prevention of contagions through a hermetic strategy that, however, has already found its first cracks… And the consequent consequences.
The scandal began with the flights that had to bring the tennis players to the oceanic continent, from different destinations. Precautions a priori would be maximum, but after all, contact on the plane was inevitable – although with a mask – and the appearance of positives unleashed the storm. People infected on flights from U.S and Abu Dhabi caused a majority isolation of 50 tennis players, who had to quarantine for two weeks to be able to play the Open in perfect condition.
Among those affected were tennis players of the stature of Nishikori, Azarenka or the Spanish Paula Badosa and Pedro Martínez Goalkeeper, as well as many other tennis players with a common illness. In addition to being locked in their rooms, without any possible contact, the organization did not provide them with facilities to exercise, something that they would have proven seeded figures. This caused a comparative offense that was denounced and from which desperate measures were derived, such as rallying against the wall, with the bed mattress as a shock absorber, or the use of tapes and circuits with cones in the small rooms in which they must spend the hours tennis players.
New members were added to the large confined group, such as the new Spanish jewel Carlos Alcaraz, after your flight, from the venue of the Open preview, Doha, He would also have positive for coronavirus and he, like other tennis players, and would be forced to isolate himself as close contact of the infected.
No material in the rooms
The food prepared for the players, of doubtful quality, and above all, the difference between the seeds and the rest of classified tennis players. While the favorites do have exercise bikes or treadmills in their rooms, the rest had to complain and beg them to be placed days later, in a clearly disadvantageous situation that can affect their preparation for the race. Australian Open.
The tennis players did not have the necessary material until the public intervention of Craig Tiley, Australian Open Director, to ease tension between those affected. “The main thing is that the situation for isolated tennis players is as fair as possible,” said the manager, while asking for “patience” with an unexpected situation, since they were working so that the bubble did not have any positive or isolated people for this reason from the first moment.
Novak Djokovic, number one in the world, came to the attention of the information and tried to defend the most affected players, assuring that the confinement measures were exaggerated. However, the head of the government of the state of Victoria, Daniel Andrews she answered Nole emphatically. ‘People are free to submit a list of demands, but the answer is no”.
Trainings at 6am and the boycott option
The quarantine, therefore, has no sign of a reduction amid the chaos facing the Australian Open. The word boycott has been spoken among the circles of players, who have also been affected by the training schedules, extreme to the point that the first sessions will begin at 6:30 in the morning.
All this occurs after a first week of exercises in which the tennis players had to wait in their rooms until the organization claimed them. «We will knock on your door when you can go out to train », They indicated from the Open, accumulating delays that only accumulate reasons for the general chaos in a tournament revolutionized by the coronavirus.