Australian Open tennis stars are going a little crazy in hotel quarantine

After four Covid-19 cases were reported on their flights into Melbourne, 72 of the world’s best tennis players are quarantining just days before the controversial 2021 Australian Open.

With the tournament kicking off on February 8, the weeks prior are the most critical and essential time for the tennis players to train and prepare. Thanks to the blessing that is Covid, however, the Australian Open’s 72 international stars have to spend the next 14 days in hotel quarantine after multiple positive cases were detected on their flights.

The players were transferred into hotel quarantine after arriving in Australia, much to their dissatisfaction. After have recently emerged from one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, however, the Melbourne public weren’t having a bar of their whinging.

australian open

Complaining of the food and conditions, the players haven’t taken well to their new training quarters. Many stars, including Sorana Cirstea, Yulia Putintseva, Belinda Bencic mentioned on Twitter that they were unaware that they would have to be in quarantine for two weeks.

New Zealand tennis star Artem Sitak has debated these claims, revealing that Tennis Australia had informed players “if somebody tests positive on the flight, it’s going to be up to the health authorities to decide whether to quarantine all the flight or just isolate compartments of the plane.”

Commissioner for COVID Quarantine Victoria, Emma Cassar, mentioned in a radio interview that players will be under strict lockdown rules with no exceptions of leaving early “it’s a definite no from me… we’re not modifying our program.” 

And if we have learned anything from the pandemic it’s that the best way to get through it would be for players to start thinking outside the box (or court).

A few players have found ways to train, despite the restrictions. I can’t wait to see those quick serves from all the mattress hits these athletes are going to do in the next two weeks.

World No. 1 male player Novak Djokovic, who is currently quarantining in Adelaide, doesn’t seem to be interested in making the best of a bad situation.

Novak Djokovic
Photograph: Getty Images

The tennis player wrote a list of demands to Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley, asking permission for players to visit their coach or physical trainer, that they stay on the same floor, have decent food, and be moved to private houses with a court to train.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews responded to the demands during a press conference on Monday mentioning that “people are free to make a list of demands, but the answer is no.”

Looks like the players will have to do without “special treatment” for 14 days. With their base rate of $100,000 just from competing, however, and another week of training available once their quarantine finishes early February, I think their smartest decision is to bring out the Wii console and do what they’re good at.