Australian Open tennis players quarantining in Adelaide have reportedly been discouraged from celebrating their freedom on social media as tensions rise in Melbourne.
It comes after a total of nine people connected to the tournament have tested positive to coronavirus, resulting in 72 players being locked-down to 14 days of hard quarantine in Victoria.
These players are confined to their hotel rooms, also unable to access the five hours of outdoor training the other players, who did not arrive in Australia via a COVID-19 affected flight, are enjoying.
Those in strict quarantine were apparently enraged further when some of the world’s biggest names in tennis, including Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka – currently serving 14 days of mandatory quarantine in a luxury North Adelaide hotel – were receiving a number of extra advantages with their stay.
Austrian player Philipp Oswald, who is one of the unlucky 72 in Melbourne, revealed to Tennisnet that those not doing the hard quarantine were 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 fuelled 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