A Spanish tennis player who was plunged into hard hotel quarantine ahead of the Australian Open has tested positive to Covid-19.
Paula Badosa, the world No.67, announced on Twitter that she is the latest person associated with the Grand Slam to test positive to coronavirus.
The 23-year-old had previously complained about the tough restrictions on players, brought in after others tested positive on three charter flights to Melbourne.
Now the star said she is ‘feeling unwell’ and suffering ‘some symptoms’ of the virus.
‘I have some bad news,’ Badosa wrote overnight.
‘Today I received a positive Covid-19 test result.
Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa (pictured) announced on Twitter she has tested positive to coronavirus
Badosa is seen in action during her fourth round match against Germany’s Laura Siegemund at the French Open in October 2020
‘I’m feeling unwell and have some symptoms, but I’ll try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors.’
The star said she has been taken to a health hotel where she will be monitored.
‘Thanks for your support. We’ll be back stronger,’ she said.
Badosa’s announcement was written in both English and Spanish.
The positive test result comes after Badosa complained about being forced into hard hotel quarantine.
She was among 72 players confined to their Melbourne hotels after passengers on their charter flights – from Abu Dhabi, Doha and Los Angeles – tested positive to coronavirus.
‘I have some bad news,’ Badosa wrote on Twitter. ‘Today I received a positive Covid-19 test result’
The 23-year-old said she is ‘feeling unwell’ and suffering from ‘some symptoms’ of the virus
The players are at a significant disadvantage in preparing for the Open, as other players who were not on those flights are allowed out of their rooms for up to five hours a day to practice.
Badosa moaned about the hard lockdown over the weekend, in a tweet that has since been deleted.
‘At the beginning the rule was the positive section of the plane who was with that person had to quarantine. Not the whole plane,’ she wrote.
‘Not fair to change the rules at the last moment. And to have to stay in a room with no windows and no air.’
Badosa touched down in Melbourne on tournament-chartered flight from Abu Dhabi, where two co-passengers subsequently tested positive.
The positive test result comes after Badosa was forced into hard hotel quarantine. She was among 72 players confined to their Melbourne hotels after passengers on their charter flights – from Abu Dhabi, Doha and Los Angeles – tested positive to coronavirus
On Wednesday, officials reported that ten people who travelled to Australia for the tournament had since tested positive to Covid-19.
But some of those case are likely to be viral shedding, where someone still has the virus in their system but is no longer contagious.
New York-born Badosa is the only competitor to be named as an active coronavirus case.
She has little time to recover and to be fit for the event – which starts on February 8 – after looking forward to making it the starting point for another rise up the rankings in 2021.
Badosa ended 2020 with huge strides, making it to the last-16 at the French Open and reaching a career-high ranking.
This would be her third Australian Open.
Spain’s Paula Badosa plays a shot against Germany’s Laura Siegemund in the fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on October 5, 2020
A number of players in Melbourne have taken to social media to complain about their hotel facilities and inability to train properly ahead of the Grand Slam compared to the big guns in South Australia.
The likes of world No.1 Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka have been photographed enjoying the sun on the balconies, while they were able to bring much larger entourages to Australia.
They will play an exhibition in Adelaide on January 31.
Djokovic denied that he had issued a list of ‘demands’ about quarantine conditions in Melbourne, claiming instead that they were simply suggestions to help his fellow competitors.
Djokovic was slammed as entitled after calling on Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley to soften restrictions on players in hard lockdown. He wanted to see others provided with private housing with tennis courts on site.
Along with the likes of Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, Djokovic is serving his 14-day quarantine in luxury apartments in Adelaide, and is allowed to train for five hours a day
The 33-year-old defended himself on Wednesday, arguing he had good intentions and wanted to use his ‘privilege’ to help other competitors who are unable to practice.
‘My good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued as being selfish, difficult, and ungrateful. This couldn’t be farther from the truth,’ he wrote in an impassioned Instagram post.
In his statement, Djokovic said he ‘genuinely cares’ about and wants to help his fellow players.
‘It is very difficult for me to be a mere onlooker knowing how much every help, gesture, and good word mattered when I was small and insignificant in the world pecking order,’ he wrote.
‘Hence I use my position of privilege to be of service as much as I can where and when needed.’
NOVAK DJOKOVIC’S OPEN LETTER TO AUSTRALIA IN FULL
In light of recent media and social media criticism for my letter to Craig Tiley (Tournament director of the Australian Open), I would like to clarify a few things.
My good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued as being selfish, difficult, and ungrateful. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Not every act is taken at its face value and at times when I see the aftermath of things, I do tend to ask myself if I should just sit back and enjoy my benefits instead of paying attention to other people’s struggles. However, I always choose to do something and be of service despite the challenging consequences and misunderstandings.
I genuinely care about my fellow players and I also understand very well how the world is run and who gets bigger and better and why. I’ve earned my privileges the hard way, and for that reason, it is very difficult for me to be a mere onlooker knowing how much every help, gesture, and good word mattered when I was small and insignificant in the world pecking order. Hence I use my position of privilege to be of service as much as I can where and when needed.
I have always had a very good relationship with Craig, and I respect and appreciate all the effort he puts into making the Australian Open a place to look forward to coming back to each year.
In our email exchange I used an opportunity to brainstorm about potential improvements that could be made to the quarantine of players in Melbourne that were in full lockdown.
There were a few suggestions and ideas that I gathered from other players from our chat group and there was no harm intended to try and help. I was aware that the chances were low that any of our suggestions would be accepted, just like my request to quarantine with my team in Melbourne instead of Adelaide, was denied prior to our travel because of strict government regulations.
Since I couldn’t be with other players in Melbourne, I made myself available to them if needed.
I understand that organising international sporting events during a pandemic poses health risks to the local community and to the players themselves. Therefore, I would like to express my full gratitude to Tennis Australia, the Australian government and local citizens for being willing to take this risk with us for the love of the game and the multiple opportunities it brings to the economy of the country and its people.
We are honoured, and we will all do our best to follow the guidelines and protocols put in place. We do hope that we will be able to nurture our bodies and be ready for the mental and physical endurance and strength tests that are ahead of us once the competition starts.
Things in the media escalated and there was a general impression that the players (including myself) are ungrateful, weak, and selfish because of their unpleasant feelings in quarantine.
I am very sorry that is has come to that because I do know how grateful many are. We all came to Australia to compete. Not being able to train and prepare before the tournament starts is really not easy. None of us ever questioned 14 days of quarantine despite what is being said by media outlets.
I am very much looking forward to playing in front of the people and joining the tennis frenzy and energy of the city that has always carried me towards many victories. I am also looking forward to seeing all my fellow players together in Melbourne. I am blown away by the numerous messages of gratitude and love that I have received during these past few days.
Wishing you all health and love,