John Isner on Wednesday called for an easing to tennis quarantine bubbles, with the American suggesting that COVID cases are somehow decreasing.
The controversial idea came as the player who skipped the Australian tennis summer due to Melbourne’s strict two-week pre-event hotel room lockdown prepared to play only his fifth match of 2021.
Isner, who won Miami in 2018, stands 2-2 after competing only in Delray Beach, Florida and last week in Acapulco.
The home-loving Isner is noticeably ill at ease once he crosses the Atlantic and tries to limit his international travel as much as possible,
The father of two voiced the opinion that virus cases are decreasing in the US and specifically in Miami.
By contrast, city officials last week imposed a curfew on university spring break revellers due to maskless crowds overrunning the infamous South Beach party zone.
No. 28 Isner said instead of confining players to a bubble between hotel and tournament site as has become standard practice at events with none or few spectators, players should be able to decide on their own level of safety.
“You have to have faith in your colleagues that will be smart and try to help keep everyone safe.
“The virus seems to be declining more and more in the US.”
Isner called the bubble situation “a topic of conversation.”
“It’s very difficult, I don’t know. I didn’t go to Australia, I’ve been shielded from it.
“But I’ve heard that the bubble is taking a toll on players, mentally more than physically.
“We’re pretty spoiled, we travel around the world, we can leave the hotel, go eat in some amazing restaurants.
“Now the situation seems to be getting better around the world,” he said as many European countries began planning for quarantine shutdowns over the upcoming Easter holidays due to a third wave of cases.
“Maybe the bubble can be loosened a bit. The responsibility should fall on players to take care of themselves.”
He then walked it all back a bit: “Maybe don’t get rid of the bubble but lessen some of the restrictions. That would go a long way in helping the psyche of players.”