Two more Australian Open tennis players test positive for coronavirus
A group of tennis players and coaches run to practice on the training pitches across from the Melbourne hotel - Getty
Two other Australian Open players tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, according to the authorities, increasing the number of tennis tournament-related cases to 10.
It is the latest blow to preparations for the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne, which has already been delayed by three weeks due to the pandemic.
A series of infections discovered by Australian authorities have forced 72 players to stay in their hotel rooms 24 hours a day for two weeks.
Victoria State Police Secretary Lisa Neville said a total of four other people linked to the tournament have tested positive since Tuesday.
"One of them is a player who was absolutely in trouble because he got in on one of the flights where we got positive results," she told reporters.
"One is another player and one is a support person with that player."
In the past week, more than 1,000 players and staff arrived on 17 charter planes in largely coronavirus-free Australia, with the first cases being noted on those flights.
The entire contingent spends 14 days in hotel quarantine. Players who are not considered close contacts on positive cases are allowed to exercise outdoors for up to five hours a day in a biosecurity bubble.
A number of positive results, previously announced, have been classified as non-infectious by health officials, bringing the total confirmed number of tournament-related cases to 10.
The conditions have sparked complaints from several tennis stars, including Roberto Bautista Agut, number 13 in the world, who told a television station quarantine was like a prison "with WiFi".
He later apologized on Twitter "to anyone who was offended by the comments" and said it was a "private conversation that was taken out of context".
- Roberto BautistaAgut (@BautistaAgut) January 19, 2021
"I would like to thank everyone who makes tennis possible again. As well as everyone who struggles against Covid-19 every day. The management that was set up in Australia to prevent the virus from spreading is admirable," he tweeted .
Australian media have portrayed the grumbling as spoiled and selfish, while locals in host city Melbourne, emerging from a four-month lockdown in October, have exceeded players' calls for special treatment.
However, tournament organizers insist that most players accepted their isolation without complaint.
Many made an effort to stay fit for fit-up tournaments from January 31st. Many have turned their hotel rooms into makeshift gyms and hit tennis balls off hotel walls.
The Australian Open is slated to begin on February 8th.
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