WASHINGTON, January 16, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)
According to sources, two people have tested positive for COVID-19 on one of the Australian Open charter flights that traveled between Los Angeles and Melbourne.
Early Saturday morning (Central European Time), L’Equipe tennis correspondent Quentin Moynet reported the news about the positive COVID-19 tests. “All the players and staff who were on the plane are now in quarantine for two weeks, without the five hours daily at the stadium allowed.”
What this means is zero outside practice and maximum confinement in their rooms. Players have been provided with exercise bikes in their rooms.
According to Moynet’s reporting, on board were notably: Victoria Azarenka (ranked 13th), Kei Nishikori (ranked 41st), Guido Pella (ranked 44th), Tennys Sandgren (ranked 50th), Pablo Cuevas (ranked 68th), Juan Ignacio Londero (ranked 81st), Santo González (ranked 48th in doubles) and Artem Sitak (ranked 78th in doubles).
The world’s best tennis players are arriving, ready to fight for the first Grand Slam title of 2021. Before the battle can begin they must quarantine for 14 days, take daily COVID-19 tests, physically distance, and practice & train under strictly controlled COVIDSafe conditions. pic.twitter.com/XrJDmc9vCi
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 15, 2021
Also, Canadian journalist John Horn confirmed that Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, ranked 61st, was on the Covid flight from LAX to Melbourne.
Later, Tennis.com’s Matt Fitzgerald reported the QR7493 flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne also included Americans Sloane Stephens, Alison Riske and Marcos Giron.
Tennis players + personnel who entered Australia on flight QR7493 from LAX were notified that two unidentified people returned positive COVID-19 PCR tests upon arrival.
Azarenka, Nishikori and Stephens are among those who must now isolate for 14 days.https://t.co/yqMtwpa8x6
— TENNIS (@Tennis) January 16, 2021
Further, according to Open Court‘s Stephanie Myles, women’s World No. 3 Naomi Osaka would have been on that flight “had she not gotten the special Adelaide treatment.” Osaka is among a select group of players who flew to Adelaide to participate in a pre-Australian Open exhibition.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, one of the two people to test positive on the flight from Los Angeles was a crew member and the second person “is involved in the Australian Open but is not a player.
“The two have been moved away from one of the three Melbourne hotels being used in the Australian Open’s quarantine program to a health hotel.”
One of the two people to test positive on a chartered flight that arrived in Australia for the Australian Open was a crew member while the second person was not a player | @scottspits https://t.co/x9Spr78Zrr
— The Sydney Morning Herald (@smh) January 16, 2021
On Thursday, the Australian Open released a statement regarding Sandgren, who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and was “required to provide additional and highly detailed medical information as proof they are a recovered case and no longer infectious or a risk to the community.”
Tennys Stangren’s positive result was reviewed by health experts and determined to be viral shedding from a previous infection, so was given the all clear to fly. No one who is COVID positive for the first time – or could still be infectious – will be allowed in for the Aus Open
— Lisa Neville (@LisanevilleMP) January 14, 2021
More information on #AusOpen COVID-19 protocols.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 14, 2021
Get well soon, Andy!
— Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar (@rnadalacademy) January 15, 2021
Elina Svitolina: ‘Welcome to my new world’
Not even quarantine can separate us 🤪 pic.twitter.com/QgBpYSFKvB
— Elina Svitolina (@ElinaSvitolina) January 15, 2021
Felix Auger-Aliassime: An appreciation
Perspective from a 20 year old 👏👏pretty impressive, appreciation and empathy perfect doesn’t exist , adapt adjust manage so very impressive @CraigTiley @AustralianOpen be safe everyone let the games begin down under 🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾 https://t.co/a8P4AQ0Qfo
— Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone) January 15, 2021
Happy 46th Birthday, Mary Pierce
Join us in wishing a very Happy Birthday to a 4️⃣-time major champion (singles, doubles, and mixed doubles!),2️⃣-time @BJKCup champion and the most recent Frenchwoman to win @rolandgarros, Hall of Famer @_MaryPierce! 🥳🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/dMGrNixZIn
— Tennis Hall of Fame (@TennisHalloFame) January 15, 2021
What they’re doing
Before heading to Melbourne to quarantine, Karolina Pliskova competed in the WTA’s season-opening tournament, the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open in the Emirates capital. She was upset in the second round by qualifier Anastasia Gasanova.
Before having dessert in the desert ⏳ pic.twitter.com/0ZBulE9B5l
— Karolina Pliskova (@KaPliskova) January 14, 2021
What they’re saying
I would say we are extremely lucky to live through such an extraordinary times.. Charter flight for all players to Melbourne with only 20% capacity of the plane😳. I think it will be appropriate to thank everyone @AustralianOpen team for making this event happen this year 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
— Sergiy Stakhovsky (@Stako_tennis) January 15, 2021
What they’re wearing
View this post on Instagram
What they’re sharing on social media
Carlos Alcarez / Estamos en Melbourne
Estamos en Melbourne, en el bus que nos lleva del avion a la terminal, ahora iremos al hotel a descansar y a empezar la cuarentena!!
Just arrived in Melbourne, on the bus that takes us from the plane to the terminal, now we will go to the hotel to rest and begin the quarantine pic.twitter.com/78uihyVYKN
— Carlos Alcaraz (@alcarazcarlos03) January 15, 2021
Marta Kostyuk / Hello, Australia!
— Marta Kostyuk (@marta_kostyuk) January 15, 2021
Daniil Medvedev / Jet lag
— Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) January 15, 2021
Barbora Strycova / Quarantine Day 1
— Barbora Strycova (@BaraStrycova) January 15, 2021