The season's first Major starts in Melbourne on February 8, with many problems following both the players and organizers just a couple of days after the gathering. The first coronavirus tests started to appear on Saturday, with three persons from two different flights from Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi tested positive.
No less than 47 players from those flights and 25 from another were put in two-week isolation, without leaving a room or stepping on the practice court! Bianca Andreescu, Belinda Bencic, Maria Sakkari, Victoria Azarenka, Kei Nishikori, Marta Kostyuk, Paula Badosa, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Pablo Cuevas, Vasek Pospisil and Sloane Stephens are among them.
Many players have also reported the lack of quality food, fitness equipment in their rooms and wifi struggles, turning the initial quarantine days into a complete disaster. On the other hand, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep have experienced entirely different Adelaide measures and training without problems.
Novak Djokovic wrote a letter to Craig Tiley, without success.
World no. 1 Novak Djokovic sent a letter to the Australian Open boss Craig Tiley, asking for similar conditions in both towns and demanding fitness and training materials in every room.
Novak urged Tiley to improve the players' food and reduce the days of isolation for those 72 players, hoping for a solution that would allow them to train ahead of the first official matches. As it turned out, the Victoria government wasn't particularly impressed with this world no.
1 gesture, refusing his suggestions and keeping everything under strict rules inside the bubble. The doubles legend Todd Woodbridge didn't like Novak's move, too, calling it unnecessary and addressed on the wrong person, as Tiley can't fix any of the issues without health authorities or the government.
Woodbridge believes that the conditions will improve in the following days and that the organizers will do their best to meet the players' demands and make the quarantine as easier as possible. "You would hope that things like this don't happen.
Health is what was going to determine what was happening, so going to Craig Tiley was not going to be the solution anyway. He could not make those decisions. I tell you what, we would have to go searching for many tennis courts in backyards if Novak Djokovic's demands were going to be met.
If it is about food and other things, they are going to be looked after. If they want more food, they will get more food. And I know the team at Tennis Australia will do everything to help those in isolation get back to their best after their hard lockdown.
The players will settle down once they know how the people of Melbourne feel about them coming in," Todd Woodbridge said.