Saturday, January 16, 2021
On the approach to the Australian Open
Three tests positive, 47 tennis professionals unlucky
The organizers of the Australian Open and the local authorities want to ensure the implementation of the first highlight of the tennis year with a huge effort. But three positive corona tests ensure impossible circumstances long before the start.
Three positive corona tests on arrival at the Australian Open seriously disrupted the preparation for the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. As the organizers announced on Saturday, a total of 47 tennis professionals are in strict quarantine and are therefore not allowed to leave their hotel room for 14 days.
It was originally planned that the athletes would be allowed to train for a maximum of five hours a day during this time in order to prepare for the start in Melbourne (from February 8). The organizers did not provide the names of the quarantined players. It was therefore initially unclear whether German professionals belong to the group of isolated athletes. The three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber arrived in Melbourne on Friday.
According to the organizers, two charter flights were affected on arrival. On a flight from the United States, two people tested positive on arrival. Those affected are a member of the crew and "a passenger who is not a player". Both had given a negative test in the run-up to the flight, a total of 79 people, including 24 players on board.
"The strictest and strictest rules in the world"
"We communicate with everyone on this flight, especially the group of players, to accommodate their needs as best we can," said tournament director Craig Tiley. The second affected machine started from Abu Dhabi and had a total of 23 players on board, the positive test should not affect any athletes here either.
The effort by the Australian organizers is enormous to get the tournament off the ground in the midst of the pandemic. Players and accompanying persons are currently flown in with a total of 18 charter planes. The strict bubble concept is expected to cost over 25 million euros.
The quarantine requirements at the Australian Open are among the strictest in the world, according to the government of the state of Victoria. "We assume that every single tennis player who arrives could potentially be positive," said local police minister Lisa Neville. The quarantine and security program is geared towards this possibility to ensure that the tournament does not pose a threat to people in the region. "We introduced the toughest, strictest rules for tennis in the world," said Neville.
. (tagsToTranslate) Sport (t) Tennis (t) Australian Open (t) Grand Slam tournaments