No. 1 Ash Barty has set off a COVID controversy after getting caught in a Melbourne supermarket without the required mask.
The Australian who will fill out the field at the upcoming Adelaide exhibition populated by the top-ranked men’s and women’s players, has been in her home country for nearly a year.
As the 24-year-old does not need to undergo quarantine like all foreign players who arrived a week or so ago, she is free to move around as she wishes.
She last competed at last year’s Open, where she lost a semi-final to Petra Kvitova.
Sky News reported that Barty was caught in a Melbourne supermarket minus the mask required of all shoppers.
Her management quickly jumped on the breah, calling it an “innocent mistake.”
Barty added to the Herald-Sun: “We are so lucky in Australia to have a home Grand Slam; the support of the Australian fans means the world to me and I always want to do well here.
“I understand this year will be different in many respects but I hope I can do the local fans proud.
“The circumstances around this year’s event are definitely challenging and I understand the frustration of all the players who have had to quarantine, but keeping Melburnians safe and making sure we put health first has to be the priority.”
Barty is due in Adelaide next week for the weekend men’s and women’s exhibition, a quid pro quo from South Australia to Victoria for taking some of the tennis quarantine overflow