Sunbathing by the window, hitting balls against a mattress and running sprints in corridors, quarantined tennis players are getting creative as they try to kill time in their hotel rooms before next month’s Australian Open.
Passengers on three Australian Open charter flights have been sent into hard quarantine, with more than 70 players unable to train outside their hotel rooms for 14 days ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam that begins on February 8.
“I’m committed to do whatever it takes to get ready despite the circumstances. Time to get creative,” Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur said in a tweet accompanied by a video of her hitting a ball against an upturned mattress.
World No. 38 Barbora Strycova posted a video of herself assembling an exercise bike and joked she may have found her true calling.
“Anyone in need of my services? We can make it happen after these 14 days,” Strycova added.
Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas continued his beach-themed videos after pretending to ride the waves on his bed by “sunbathing” in front of his window.
Other players who arrived on different flights are also undertaking a mandatory quarantine but are permitted to leave their hotel rooms for five hours a day to train.
But several among thosewere unable to train on courts on Monday due to logistics issues with transport.
A Spanish tennis website reported that world No.1 Novak Djokovic had written to Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley asking that quarantine restrictions be eased for players, including reducing the mandatory 14 days of isolation and having players moved to “private houses with tennis courts” so they could train.
The report drew a backlash from Australians on social media, with Djokovic and players told to check their “privilege”.