Practically 50 gamers to lose Australian Open observe time because of Covid-19

Practically 50 gamers to lose Australian Open observe time because of Covid-19

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Forty-seven gamers have been barred from practising for a fortnight Saturday in a significant setback to their Australian Open preparations after passengers on two constitution flights that introduced them to Melbourne examined optimistic for Covid-19.

One of many optimistic exams was returned by Sylvain Bruneau, the coach of Canada’s 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu.

He mentioned he was “saddened and sorry for the implications” after arriving on a flight from Abu Dhabi.

Everybody on board the 2 flights, thought-about as shut contacts, has been ordered to remain of their lodge rooms for the whole 14-day obligatory quarantine interval.

It means none of them can be allowed out to practise and practice for the 5 hours every day agreed to as a part of their build-up to the opening main of the 12 months, Tennis Australia mentioned.

That included 24 gamers on a airplane from Los Angeles, the place a crew member and one different passenger, reportedly a coach, examined optimistic.

In keeping with native media, former Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens and Japan’s Kei Nishikori have been amongst these on board.

Twenty-three gamers, together with Grand Slam winners Andreescu, Angelique Kerber and Svetlana Kuznetsova have been on the flight from Abu Dhabi.

Bruneau mentioned that he had examined damaging inside 72 hours of his flight’s departure from the Gulf and “felt completely high quality once I boarded.”

He insisted he had adopted all of the protocols whereas within the Center East.

“I do not know how I might need contracted this virus.”

He added: “The remainder of my workforce is damaging and I sincerely hope that any additional disruption is stored to a minimal.”

‘Exhausting work going to waste’

French participant Alize Cornet, who’s in Melbourne however was not on both airplane, known as the state of affairs “insane”.

“Quickly, half of the gamers from the AO will truly need to isolate,” she tweeted.

“Weeks and weeks of observe and laborious work going to waste for one individual optimistic to Covid in a 3/4 empty airplane. Sorry however that is insane.”

Different gamers claimed that the foundations governing confinement have been modified.

“We aren’t complaining to be in quarantine,” tweeted Swiss world quantity 12 Belinda Bencic.

“We’re complaining due to unequal observe/taking part in situations earlier than fairly necessary tournaments.”

Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, ranked 71, tweeted: “I used to be planning to play the event as a result of they promised day by day 5 h quarantine exemption the place we might go observe, do a health club session and rehab. This was the deal earlier than signing as much as this…however the guidelines modified ‘in a single day’!”

The world’s high gamers started arriving in Australia on Thursday for the delayed Grand Slam, which is because of begin on February 8.

Most touched down in Melbourne, though the largest names within the sport, together with Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, flew into Adelaide.

All should endure a 14-day quarantine, however are allowed out for 5 hours day by day to coach in strict bio-secure bubbles forward of a number of warm-up tournaments, all in Melbourne, within the week main as much as the Grand Slam.

Logistical nightmare

In keeping with the Melbourne Herald Solar, the Los Angeles flight was the identical one which sparked controversy on Thursday when American participant Tennys Sandgren tweeted he had been allowed to board regardless of returning a optimistic take a look at.

It was his second optimistic consequence, having been identified with Covid-19 in November, however Victorian state well being chiefs insisted his an infection was historic and he had “met the rigorous well being standards that has been set”.

Gamers have been solely allowed to board with proof of a damaging take a look at previous to departure, or with approval as a recovered case on the discretion of the Australian authorities, as with Sandgren.

It was the newest setback for a event that has spent months working by way of the logistical nightmares of internet hosting a Grand Slam throughout a pandemic, with Melbourne solely rising from months of lockdown in October.

The event has already misplaced some key gamers, with Roger Federer out injured and world quantity 25 John Isner opting to not journey as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

Three-time main winner Andy Murray examined optimistic for the virus and is isolating at house in London, casting doubt on whether or not he’ll be capable of play.

American world quantity 16 Madison Keys additionally examined optimistic, and pulled out.

In the meantime, world quantity three Dominic Thiem arrived with out coach Nicolas Massu, one other to check optimistic, and Nadal is lacking his coach Carlos Moya who has determined to not make the journey.


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