The Australian Open 2021 seems to start under the worst auspices, despite all hope for an happy ending. Due to the positivity of some people on board two planes bound for Australia, the players on the flight will now have to spend 14 days in solitary confinement without the possibility of training, effectively making the previous preparation completely useless.
In fact, there is very little time left for the Australian Open, scheduled for February 8: the next few days would have been essential for the tennis players, who in a month’s time will fight in the extreme heat of Melbourne to win the first Grand Slam of the season.
Among the people on board the flight from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne, the second of which a positive case was reported, also the Spanish Paula Badosa, current number 70 in the WTA world ranking. Born in 1997, Paula reached the top of the round of 16 in the latest edition of Roland Garros, where she defeated Kateryna Kozlova, Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko before losing in two sets to German Laura Siegemund.
Paula Badosa: "These were not the rules"
Commenting on the situation on Twitter, the Spaniard said: “At the beginning, the rule was that only those who were in the section of the plane of the person who tested positive would have to do the quarantine.
Not the whole plane. It is not right to change the rules at the last moment. It is not even fair to have to stay inside a room without windows or ventilation." Badosa then started a Live on Instagram together with the Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk (also present on the same plane) to discuss and answer any questions.
In Melbourne, the Spanish tennis player played at most the second round: it happened last year, when she beat Johanna Larsson before losing her to Petra Kvitova with a score of 7-5 7-5. Kostyuk now occupies the 99th position in the WTA world rankings and has already taken part in this 2021 tournament in Abu Dhabi, where she was defeated in the semifinals by Veronika Kudermetova in two sets.
We have to recall that few hours ago, the presence of two people infected with the Covid-19 virus was confirmed on the direct flight from Los Angeles, United States, to Melbourne, Australia. This means that all players on the plane will now have to spend 14 days in solitary confinement in their hotel room, unable to carry out the training program.
Unfortunately, the same thing also happened on another plane: it is the EY8004 direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne, on which a positive person was found in Australia. Also in this case, the 64 passengers (including 23 players, especially from the WTA Tour) will be subjected to the same treatment, having now to spend two weeks in quarantine without being able to move.
Among the people on board, many tennis players who will take part in the first Major event of the year: Bianca Andreescu, Angelique Kerber, Paula Badosa, Marta Kostyuk, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Belinda Bencic, Elena Rybakina, Ons Jabeur and Maria Sakkari, among many others.