47 players banned from training after two positive cases on the plane 4

Victoria Azarenka will have to play the Australian Open with no training behind her. – Jaroslav Ozana / AP / SIPA

The landing in Melbourne was brutal for 47 players due to participate in the Australian Open in three weeks (8-21 February): they are banned from training for two weeks after traveling on two flights or other passengers have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located, first reported two positive cases aboard a flight from Los Angeles, carrying 24 players, then the Australian Open confirmed another case aboard an Abu Dhabi-Melbourne flight, on which were 23 players.

Negative on departure, positive on arrival

Even though the three people diagnosed positive were not gamers, everyone on board is considered contact cases and has therefore been placed in strict quarantine for 14 days. “No player or member of their entourage will be able to interrupt the quarantine to participate in training,” said a spokesman for the quarantine program of the State of Victoria, after the announcement of the cases on board the flight Los Angeles- Melbourne, which concern a crew member and another passenger, tested negative before departure.

The 47 players concerned are therefore deprived of the five daily hours training authorized during the fortnight that all tournament participants must observe in a hotel room upon arrival in Australia.

Azarenka, Nishikori and Andreescu concerned?

According to local media, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka (winner of the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013), American Sloane Stephens and Japan’s Kei Nishikori were on board the flight Los Angeles-Melbourne and other players. crowned in Grand Slam were in the one that started from Abu Dhabi (Bianca Andreescu, Angelique Kerber, and Svetlana Kuznetsova).

“We are in contact with all the people on board this flight and in particular the group of players whose conditions have now changed, to best meet their needs”, assured the boss of the Australian Open Craig Tiley, after the cases were announced aboard the flight from Los Angeles.