The Australian Open begins February 8, 2021. As tennis players arrived earlier than normal, to undergo a quarantine period- that doesn’t mean life is completely on hold. It’s just, different.
Fast forward and these days are quite a bit different. As tennis tries their best to control the spread of COVID-19; players are locked down in their hotel rooms, ahead of the tournament. Players have expressed concerns with only having up-to five hours per day to train; think about all of those hamstring injuries at the beginning of the NFL season after a shortened training camp. There is no “next-in-line” in this sport like the NFL.
Djokovic makes a list
The Australian Open committee has been steadfast in not changing the dates surrounding the tournament or the formatting. Several players in the men’s draw have asked for best-of-three games versus the standard best-of-five. The current, No.1 ranked player in the world, Novak Djokovic even submit a list of demands to the the Open’s director Craig Tiley.
- Fitness and training material in all rooms
- “Decent food,” according to the level of the tournament and from an elite athlete
- Reduce the days of isolation for the 72 isolated players, carrying out more tests that confirm that all are negative
- Permission to visit your coach or physical trainer, as long as both have passed the PCR
- If the previous proposal has the green light, that both the player and his coach are on the same floor of the hotel
- Move as many players as possible to private houses with a court to train
Since players started arriving; Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says there have been four positive COVID-19 cases linked to charter flights, one is presumed to be a player. “All four (cases) are associated with the tennis, and they’re all tucked away safely in hotel quarantine,” Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said during his press conference.
Coco Gauff’s unique Australian Open training routine
Not all players have been disgruntled, or at least openly unhappy. Coco Gauff posted a video on her Twitter displaying her current training routine while quarantined in her hotel. “Quarantine Tingzzzzz @AustralianOpen,” the Tweet reads.
— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) January 19, 2021
Gauff, won the hearts of tennis fans –not only in the United States– but worldwide during her Cinderella story at Wimbledon in 2019. A 15-year-old, unseeded, relatively unknown player battled through; to the Round of 16 before ultimately losing to eventual champion Simona Halep (6-3, 6-3.)