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'Lunch, Really?': Tennis Stars in Quarantine in Australia Slam Hotel Food, Order Meals from Outside

'Lunch, Really?': Tennis Stars in Quarantine in Australia Slam Hotel Food, Order Meals from Outside

Seventy-two players and their entourages have to isolate for two weeks in their hotel rooms in Melbourne and are no longer able to leave them to train after infections were reported on three flights carrying them to Melbourne.

Australian Open tournament is set to be begin from February 8 even though the players forced into hard quarantine in Melbourne are angry. At least four participants of the tournament have tested positive for the virus. A positive case was reported late on Sunday from the third flight which landed a day earlier and had ferried 58 passengers from Doha, where the Grand Slam's qualifiers were held.

Twenty-five players were on board but the passenger, who tested negative before the flight, is not a player.

Seventy-two players and their entourages have to isolate for two weeks in their hotel rooms in Melbourne and are no longer able to leave them to train after infections were reported on three flights carrying them to Melbourne. Amid the quarantine, the players have expressed anger over the management.

Several tennis stars were upset with the quality of the food being provided. World No. 15 Carreno Busta from Spain shared a picture of salad, an apple and juice cup with the caption ‘really?’.

World No.28 Benoit Paire from France went on to order a McDonald’s delivered to his room.

Romanian Sorana Cirstea, the women's world number 71, said on social media: "If they would have told us this rule before, I would not play in Australia. I would have stayed home."

Swiss player Belinda Bencic said she and the other 46 players were at a disadvantage.

"We are not complaining (about being) in quarantine. We are complaining because of unequal practice/playing conditions before quite important tournaments," she said.

"The 25 players on the flight will not be able to leave their hotel room for 14 days and until they are medically cleared. They will not be eligible for practise," the Australian Open said in a statement

Other players who arrived in different planes are also undertaking a mandatory 14-day quarantine but are permitted to leave their hotels for five hours a day to train, raising questions about the integrity of the Grand Slam.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said the tournament would start as scheduled but governing body Tennis Australia would look at altering the leadup tournaments to help affected players.

"We are reviewing the schedule leading in to see what we can do to assist these players," Tiley told the Nine Network on Sunday.

"The Australian Open is going ahead and we will continue to do the best we possibly can do to ensure those players have the best opportunity."

Earlier, quarantine authorities said they had recorded a fourth COVID-19 infection among the passengers on the two charter flights carrying players to Melbourne.

first published:January 18, 2021, 12:30 IST
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