A leaked email from Tennis Australia, which was sent to all players and officials who were aboard the flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open 2021; was posted on social media by Mexican world No 155 Santiago González.
The mail said players on the flight must isolate in their rooms for two weeks as two people on that same charter flight tested positive to Covid-19 on arrival in Melbourne.
A spokesman for Covid-19 Quarantine Victoria, the organization in charge of quarantine, confirmed it was an aircrew member and member of a player’s support team that contracted the virus.
Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and Kei Nishikori confined to hotel rooms
Two-time Australian Open champion, Victoria Azarenka was a part of this group of passengers and will be confined to her hotel rooms for the next 14 days after this unfortunate incident; just a few weeks before the season-opening Grand Slam set to begin on February 8th.
American Sloane Stephens and Japanese star Kei Nishikori were on the flight too. Players are being supported to access equipment for their hotel rooms to help them maintain their fitness during this time. That would mean the only workouts the players would be able to do would be on an exercise bike left in the rooms of all of the players.
Other players will be allowed to train under strict conditions and with supervision for up to five hours a day. “We know this is not how you imagined your preparations for the AO would start but our entire team is here to support and do everything we can to get you through this,” said The Chief Health Officer.
Less than 48 hours after the first planeload of players arrived for the already delayed Australian Open on charter jets from around the world, the opening Major now has another obstacle in its way before it finally commences after enduring the earlier complications.