The Australian Open organizers cannot be blamed for not doing everything to ensure that the first Grand Slam will be held in Melbourne in early February. They rented 17 planes, which were only used for a quarter of their energy, to take the tennis entourage, which brought about 1,200 people from around the world to Australia with players and supervisors. Everyone who gets on the plane should be able to prove that they are not carrying the virus or that they are no longer contagious. Tests were carried out again upon arrival, before the 14-day quarantine began in the three designated hotels. It all happened under the strict supervision of the Victoria State Health Department.
But no concept can control the human factor. At the very least, the requirements for wearing masks, which have been set for all flights, were not followed strictly, as the photos show. So it happened: Coronavirus was introduced on three flights from Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi and Doha. 72 players are affected now. Everyone on board the machines has been placed under quarantine for 14 days. They were also denied the opportunity to leave the room for 5 hours a day to exercise. This also affects Belinda Bencic, who has traveled with fitness trainer, boyfriend Martin Hromkovic, and father and coach Ivan Bencic.
There are apples, pears, and limes.
It says the rules of the game changed after the landing. Apparently, the idea was to form groups of ten on the flights and isolate them from each other. Consideration: If someone tests positive, the entire staff does not need to be isolated. “When we landed, we got new information with more new bases that we didn’t know about,” says Pencic. Pensic’s professional colleague, Romanian Sorana Cercia, says the ability to train in the room for just two weeks and then participate in the tournament is not only suboptimal, but also increases the risk of injury. Pensic says she is not criticizing the quarantine, but rather the unequal conditions ahead of the tournament.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, who are not in Melbourne, but Adelaide, are enjoying the best conditions. Not only were they allowed a larger entourage (but had to pay for it themselves), but they were also able to move around more freely and had all the amenities, including a fitness room. “There is an apple and a pear here, and I caught a lemon,” Austrian double specialist Philipp Oswald told Tennisnet.com. “I didn’t think we’d all be locked up if it tested positive.” Two players were said to have tried to exit the match on the first day. Meanwhile, additional police forces have been called in to carry out the measures.
Those who are not affected by the quarantine are divided into groups and escorted from the hotel to the facility every five minutes. After each group, corridors and elevators are disinfected by cleaners. The five hours that players are allowed to leave their rooms each day are precisely defined: two hours on the tennis court, 90 minutes in the fitness room, one hour for dining, and the rest for transfers. This is horrific for sufferers because it clearly is measured with an uneven arm. On the first day after his arrival, Novak Djokovic was photographed waving to cameras from a pickup truck. He was not wearing a mask. As the only one.
This did not prevent Djokovic, who organized the Adriatic Sea tour in the Balkans in the spring of 2020, during which he witnessed many HIV infections, from presenting a full list of demands to his colleagues in Melbourne to the organizers. Among other things, the Serbs are demanding a shorter period of isolation, better food (!) And private accommodations with a place to train. That may be well-intentioned, but it is dropping very badly in Australia and outside the tennis bubble. Because it gives the impression that the big names in tennis, who get $ 100,000 AUD if they lose in the first round, think they are above everything.
‘Selfish political action by Djokovic’
Former Australian tennis player Sam Groth takes Djokovic hard to court. “Is Djokovic serious?” He says. This is a hideous, selfish political movement to gain popularity. With his behavior on the Adria tour, in which a number of players have been infected and spread the virus, he is the last person anyone should take advice from. ”Victoria’s Prime Minister Daniel Andrews’s answer was less enthusiastic and diplomatic. When asked about Djokovic’s demands, he said:“ People are invited to make lists. But the answer is no. It is clear. ”Nothing is as important as the health of the population.
Anyone who dares to take a second look can see that violations of quarantine rules, complaints about food, or disregard for the obligation to wear a mask that truly cause anger are the exception rather than the rule. Tunisian coach Anas Jaber, for example, completed the 5-kilometer walk in the hotel room. Frenchman Nicolas Mahut moved his mattress in front of the room door and lay down in his tennis tennis so he didn’t miss training. Belinda Bensic moved her bed to one side, tape-cut three rectangles to her window, and started exercising. “It’s the wrong class, but it doesn’t matter,” she commented. Bencic has only played one tournament since March.