Forty Seven Players Arriving for Australian Open Quarantined

January 17, 2021 by Doug Hirdle
Rafael Nadal, one of 47 quarantined, is pictured after arriving at Adelaide Airport in Australia ahead of the 2021 Australian Open.

The 2021 Australian Open is off to a bad start after tournament organizers, and health authorities announced it that three aboard two charter flights carrying coaches, players and support staff tested positive for the coronavirus.

Australian health officials stated that of the three cases, two were on the flight from Los Angeles while the other arrived on a flight from Abu Dhabi. As a result of the quarantine, forty-seven players have been put under quarantine for fourteen days and will be unable to practise or leave their rooms.

One of those testing positive is the coach of Bianca Andreescu, Sylvain Bruneau. In a statement to the press, Andreescu’s agent Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy said the star player is one of those in quarantine. Responding to and providing an updater to the media about the flight from Los Angles, the health department of Victoria state said:

“An aircrew member and Australian Open participant who is not a player have been transferred to a health hotel following positive test results for coronavirus. All remaining 66 passengers on the flight have been determined to be close contacts. Any players and support people will not be able to leave quarantine to attend training. The remaining flight crew all tested negative and were permitted to fly out without passengers directly to their home port.”

ABC News (Australia)

The tournament director of the Australian Open, Craig Tiley released a statement that al twenty-four players on the flight will be unable to leave their accommodations for fourteen days, and then only after being cleared by health care professionals.

“We are communicating with everyone on this flight, and particularly the playing group whose conditions have now changed, to ensure their needs are being catered to as much as possible, and that they are fully appraised of the situation.”

In addition to statements from the Tiley and the Victoria state health department, Tennis Australia later in the day stated of the 64 on the Abu Dhabi, 23 were players. In their statement, Tennis Australia said,

“All passengers from the flight are already in quarantine hotels and the positive case, who is not a player and had tested negative before the flight, has been transferred to a health hotel.”

The result of the quarantine has seen some players turning to Twitter to provide updates to followers. That includes Heather Watson, a player from the U.K, who posted on her Twitter account that players are “Dhabi “NOT allowed out of our rooms.” Watson also posted the official notification players received from the Chief Health Officer, which stated:

“The Chief Health Officer has reviewed the flight and has determined that everyone on board needs to isolate and will be confined to their rooms for the 14-day quarantine period, We are aware of the major impact this has on your preparation for the Australian summer,” it continued, pledging “to do everything we can to mitigate this impact.”

The quarantine also saw several players affected by the order complaining on social media that the rules differ from those they were given prior to departing for Australia versus those they are facing now. This included posts from Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic, Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva and Romania’s Sorana Cirstea. One of those posting, Sorana Cirstea posted on her Twitter account that had she known, she would have chosen not to attend the event.

“If they would have told us this rule before I would not play Australia…I would have stayed home. They told us we would fly at 20% capacity, in sections and we would be a close contact ONLY if my team or cohort tests positive.”

Due to Australia closing its international borders, prior to departing their native countries and boarding the charter flights, officials and players were to be tested and ensure results were negative. The changes in quarantine rules relate to each state and territory in Australia having their own quarantine rules, which can without notice change. Another impacted by the quarantine order, Victoria Azarenka posted a picture of the view from her hotel room. In her tweet, Azarenka who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2012, stated,

“Made it to Melbourne! Thank you everyone so much for making it happen. I can only imagine how many hours of work and compromise it took for us to be here! Thank you.”

Due to Australia closing its international borders, prior to departing their native countries and boarding the charter flights, officials and players were to have been tested and ensure their results were negative. The changes in quarantine rules relates to each state and territory in Australia having their own quarantine rules, which can without notice change. Another impacted by the quarantine order, Victoria Azarenka posted a picture of the view from her hotel room. In her tweet, Azarenka who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2012, stated,

“Made it to Melbourne! Thank you everyone so much for making it happen. I can only imagine how many hours of work and compromise it took for us to be here! Thank you.”

It is unknown what impact the quarantine will have on the tournament, but it will certainly impact odds makers such as Sports Interaction,  a leading online sportsbook. This is even more so considering top player Madison Keys will not be attending due to a positive test result. While Australia has done well in controlling the virus, Victoria State where the Open is held is among the country’s hardest hit areas.

In their efforts to curb the transmission, the state has implemented lockdowns and curfews. While the borders are closed, Tennis Australia was able to get permission to hold the event and has chartered fifteen flights to transport support staff, players and coaches. Those flights were limited to 25% capacity and were to arrive over the course of 36 hours to allow social distancing.

Doug Hirdle Author

Hey all! My name is Doug Hirdle, and I am the main author at Betting.ca. As a huge sports fan, for years I have thought about running a website that’s going to provide people with the latest news from the world of sports. However, watching sports is not my only passion, as I also love betting on them.

That’s why...