The Australian Open quarantine regime hit the buffers in Melbourne on Thursday when Spain’s Paula Badoso tested positive after a week of quarantine.
The WTA No. 67 who reached the second week of Roland Garros last October, was due to have been moved from her lockdown hotel room to a more secure “health” hotel which is guarded by security.
New York born Badosa was one of the players who only a day earlier complained on social media about Australia’s strict quarantine protocols and is is still the only player to be named as an active coronavirus case.
The 23-year-old arrived last week on one a charter flight from Abu Dhabi where a passenger tested positive; as a result, she was among the 72 people confined to their rooms for the 14-day quarantine period with no chances of a daily training period on court.
Badosa revealed her positive test on social media:
“I have some bad news,” she wrote in a bilingual post. .
“Today I received a positive COVID-19 test result. I’m feeling unwell and have some symptoms, but I’ll try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors. I’ve been taken to a health hotel to self-isolate and be monitored.”
Meanwhile, the Spanish federation issued a statement of solidarity with players in quarantine, calling for better treatment of that group.
The RFET expressed “support and solidarity with each and every Spanish player currently confined in Melbourne.”
While not outright disputing the need for quarantine in the nearly COVID-free country, the federation complained that competitors “were not informed of the possibility of being severely confined in the event of traveling in the same plane with a positive without taking into account the physical proximity with said positive.”
That is not the first airing of that grievance, though Tennis Australia and the government keep insisting that all eventualities were spelled out before players boarded their flights.
Spanish tennis bosses added: “It is not only a strictly competitive problem of this first Grand Slam. The point is that his season could be seriously affected by a confinement of 14 days.”
“The affected players are elite tennis players who need to stay active in order to perform and not be injured, not to mention the psychological damage that affects the athlete in a sport in which the mental aspect is so demanding.”