Australian Open tennis players quarantining in Adelaide have reportedly been ‘encouraged’ by tennis officials to stop celebrating their freedom on social media as tension rises in Melbourne.
It comes after a total of nine people connected to the tournament have tested positive to coronavirus, which has sent 72 players into 14 days of hard quarantine. Those players are now not able to leave their rooms and access the five hours of outdoor training.
An already disappointed group of players were apparently enraged further when competitors such as Simona Halep, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka and Dominic Thiem were chartered to Adelaide – and received a number of extra advantages with their stay.
Austrian player Philipp Oswald, who is one of the unlucky 72, revealed to Tennisnet that the players in South Australia are able to take more staff with them to practice.
“They also have a gym in their hotel. So they don’t have to do their fitness exercises during the five-hour period.
“You only have the five hours to play tennis. There was a huge discussion and the other players were also upset. It’s not apples and apples here, but apples and pears – and I caught the sour lemon.”
Tensions were only fuelled further when Naomi Osaka posted a photo of her first training session in Adelaide.
A revolt broke out.
The players are not very happy for the unequal treatment in relation to big players in Adelaide.
This photo of Naomi Osaka has driven their mad. pic.twitter.com/UX8yADxz4G
— Luca Fiorino (@FiorinoLuca) January 16, 2021
Tennis Australia has denied any favouritism, however it has been revealed by American reporter Jon Wertheim a number of players were disappointed to see the elite group sent to Adelaide.
This was the unforced error. The Adelaide dimension was unnecessary and has already led the charges of unfairness. I'm told that, over the weekend, the fortunate players in Adelaide have been "encouraged" to stop with social media posts, which have enflamed tensions. https://t.co/EpZH10QATI
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) January 17, 2021