Melbourne. The Australian Open market itself as a “Happy Slam”. The 72 tennis players, who are in strict quarantine according to the Corona safety regulations, shouldn’t feel much of this joy this year. Since they traveled on flights with a total of four people who tested positive on board, they now have to stay in isolation for 14 days in the hotel room. How fair can the first Grand Slam tournament of the year (from February 8th) be when a number of professionals like the German Angelique Kerber are without any training opportunity for two weeks?
The y have made almost grotesque efforts with only sparsely loaded charter planes and exceptions for the top stars in the industry. But the corona cases couldn’t prevent that. Strict rules apply in quarantine, so even minor violations – such as speeches in the hotel corridor – threaten fines of up to 20,000 Australian dollars (12,750 euros).
“Let’s wait and see,” tweeted Kerber. Hopes for any special permits now rest on tournament director Craig Tiley. Because without preparation, it doesn’t seem to be for the best of the tournament for those affected to compete.
The re is again talk of distortion of competition and inequality of opportunity. Especially since stars like Dominic Thiem, Novak Djoković, Rafael Nadal or Serena Williams did not start the officially ordered quarantine in Melbourne, but in Adelaide, 650 kilometers away. (ag.)
(“Die Presse”, print edition, January 18, 2021)