Australian Open's hard quarantine 'took a toll' on players
When Tennys Sandgren resumed practicing after his can’t-go-anywhere hard quarantine ended, the American said Tuesday, his hands developed blisters from holding a racket. And, like Azarenka, both Sandgren and Pospisil lost their opening matches. “I wouldn’t say the whole tournament is a joke, but for some players, it’s not feasible. “I needed fresh air or maybe a bigger room or better conditions to play against the best players,” she said. Players in the “regular” quarantine were allowed to leave their rooms for five hours per day during the first two weeks after getting to Australia.
72 tennis players in lockdown after virus cases on flights
Italian tennis player Simone Bolelli, left, and Argentina's Maximo Gonzalez are escorted to their training session in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. The number of players in hard quarantine swelled to 72 ahead of the Australian Open after a fifth positive coronavirus test was returned from the charter flights bringing players, coaches, officials and media to Melbourne for the season-opening tennis major. Some players have expressed anger at being classified as close contacts merely for being on board those flights with people who later tested positive. But local government, tennis and health authorities have said all players were warned of the risks in advance. The Australian Open starts Feb. 8 following a week of warmup tournaments at Melbourne Park and the ATP Cup.
Australian Open arrivals hit by 4 COVID-19 positive tests
Health authorities confirmed there'd been three positive tests for COVID-19 returned on Saturday, and another on Sunday. The Australian Open starts on Feb. 8. Kei Nishikori, the 2014 U.S. Open runner-up, and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka were among a group of players who arrived on the flight from Los Angeles. Also, Americans Madison Keys and Tennys Sandgren returned positive tests, but Sandgren was given permission to fly after Australian health authorities determined he was no longer contagious though still shedding viral particles. South Australia health officials “confirmed that there is no one who has an active COVID-19 infection in the entire tennis cohort based in Adelaide,” the Australian Open said on Twitter.