US tennis player Tennys Sandgren is upset that he will spend more time in coronavirus quarantine than some of his competitors at the Australian Open.
- Tennys Sandgren tested positive in November and again two weeks ago
- He got an exemption to fly to Australia because it was believed he was shedding particles from an earlier infection
- A number of tennis stars were released from quarantine on Thursday night
Sandgren, the world number 50 who made the quarter-finals in Melbourne last year, has not been allowed out of his hotel room since arriving in Australia two weeks ago.
He said he found out yesterday that he would not be getting out of quarantine on Thursday night, like a number of other international players, but at midnight tonight.
“[That] will put us at close to 15 days in this room. That’s also another day that we can’t practice,” he said on Instagram.
Sandgren is set to play in the Great Ocean Road Open, which starts on Monday.
“So that’s [training on] Saturday, Sunday, Monday, play a match on Tuesday, a competitive match. That’s 15 or 16 days off, counting the travel. Three days hitting, [then a] tennis match,” he said.
His mocking of Tennis Australia came two weeks after he called its president, Craig Tiley, “a wizard” for helping to get him an exemption to fly from Los Angeles to Melbourne despite testing positive for COVID-19.
Sandgren had tested positive in November and again just before his flight, but he was cleared to travel to Australia because, according to Quarantine Victoria, the evidence “suggested he had recovered from a previous COVID-19 infection and is still shedding viral particles”.
As a result, he has been in a hard lockdown since touching down and took issue with his extra day in quarantine.
“For everybody else the day they got here they started their first day, so they leave 14 days later at the same time they arrived,” he said.
“For the players in hard quarantine, like myself, the first day we got here was day zero. Day zero. So they started the count from zero.”
Sandgren’s best performances in majors have come at the Australian Open, where he reached the last eight in 2018 and last year, when he had seven match points against Roger Federer but ultimately lost in five sets.
Quarantine Victoria said the hundreds of players and support staff would start being released on Thursday, with the last of them “expected to be complete by Sunday”.
Georgian world number 63 Oksana Kalashnikova also lamented being made to stay cut off for one more day.
A host of tennis superstars, including Australian world number one Ash Barty and 23-time major winner Serena Williams are playing in the Memorial Drive exhibition tournament in Adelaide, starting today.
Men’s world number one Novak Djokovic is also playing in Adelaide and said he had sympathy for the players who have spent more time in hotel quarantine.
“These guys and girls will definitely have a disadvantage,” he said.
“They’ve done their best to do some training in their rooms, but there’s not much movement — they couldn’t hit the ball.”
There are a number of warm-up events before the Australian Open starts on February 8, with two ATP tournaments in Melbourne for the men — the Great Ocean Road Open and Murray River Open — starting on Monday, and the women playing in the Grampians Trophy from Wednesday.