United Kingdom

Australian Open: Tennis stars in Melbourne quarantine complain about changing rules and their food

International tennis stars have blasted their living conditions after being forced into hotel quarantine in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open. 

Several top tier athletes including Carreno Busta and Fabio Fognini have critiqued the food they've received since arriving last week, while French player Alize Cornet described the situation as 'insane' in a since deleted post.

The 30-year-old shared her frustration at the Australian government's decision to quarantine 47 players after two cases of Covid were imported on a plane from Los Angeles.

Returning Australians have to self-isolate in designated hotels upon arrival for two weeks, but Victoria made arrangements to allow Australian Open participants five hours' daily training during the quarantine period.

Given the two new Covid cases, the government ordered every other passenger on board into a hard two week quarantine, scrapping the agreed training periods. 

French player Alize Cornet described the situation as 'insane' in a since deleted post

Two passengers inside one of the planes taking people to the Australian Open have tested positive for Covid-19, though it has been confirmed neither person is a competitor

Carreno Busta, the world No.15 who arrived from Spain, shared a picture of a salad, an apple and juice cup alongside the caption 'really?'. Italian star and world No.17 Fabio Fognini was offered the same meal, and explained that he hoped he received something more substantial next time

'Soon, half of the players from the AO will actually have to isolate,' Cornet wrote in a since-deleted tweet.

'Weeks and weeks of practice and hard work going to waste for one person positive to COVID in a 3/4 empty plane. Sorry but this is insane.'

Cornet said that when she agreed to the tournament, players were told that they'd be separated into sections of 10 people on their flights.

If one person within that section tested positive, players were informed they would need to quarantine. 

But those rules have since been amended to include the rest of the plane, she claimed.   

Cornet said that when she agreed to the tournament, players were told that they'd be separated into sections of 10 people on their flights. If one person within that section tested positive, players were informed they would need to quarantine

Several top tier athletes including Carreno Busta and Fabio Fognini have critiqued the food they've received since arriving last week

Cornet understood that she is 'privileged' to be in the position she is in, but argued players are risking serious injury if they compete after a two-week break

Cornet understood that she is 'privileged' to be in the position she is in, but argued players are risking serious injury if they compete after a two-week break. 

'This seems to be a very sensitive subject and I understand it... But we are not asking the Victorian residents to play a professional sport afterward. Maybe I'm too focused on my side of the story, but that's also why we are here for.'

Cornet was one of several stars who voiced the same concern after learning of the quarantine orders.  

Swiss world No. 12 Belinda Bencic said the restrictions offered some players an unfair advantage.

'We are not complaining to be in quarantine. We are complaining because of unequal practice/playing conditions before quite important tournaments,' she said.

'We made our decision to come here from rules that were sent to us. Then we arrived and received an information/rule book with more/new rules that we did not know about.'

Several top tier athletes including Corentin Moutet and Fabio Fognini have critiqued the food they've received since arriving last week

This week flights ferrying players, including defending champion Novak Djokovic, have arrived

Alize Cornet shared two photos taken from her own hotel quarantine stay in Melbourne

Several other players said if they were informed that there was a risk of quarantining for 14 days without any access to training, they would not have competed in the tournament. 

Meanwhile others have highlighted the sub-par food they've been receiving since they arrived in Australia.

Carreno Busta, the world No.15 who arrived from Spain, shared a picture of a salad, an apple and juice cup alongside the caption 'really?'. 

Italian star and world No.17 Fabio Fognini was offered the same meal, and explained that he hoped he received something more substantial next time. 

Meanwhile world No.28 Benoit Paire from France opted against the quarantine meals entirely, and ordered McDonald's delivered to his room. 

In total, some 1,200 elite international players and their teams will arrive in Melbourne ahead of the tournament, which is due to begin on February 8. 

Spanish star Rafael Nadal (pictured centre) has also touched down in Australia

Hundreds of players, including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, have already arrived.

All participants and officials must return a negative Covid test before boarding the flight.  

Sylvain Bruneau, who coaches Canada's 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu, was one of the positive cases on board the Los Angeles flight.

He claims he was feeling 'perfectly fine' before boarding the flight and had tested negative to the virus within 72 hours of boarding. 

'I have no idea how I might have contracted this virus,' he said. 'I am extremely saddened and sorry for the consequences now on everyone's shoulders sharing my flight.

'The rest of my team is negative and I sincerely hope that any further disruption is kept to a minimum.'

Japanese star Kei Nishikori (pictured left) was on the flight from LA to Melbourne, as was Former world no.1 Victoria Azarenka (pictured right) 

Football news:

Tuchel-Werner: Timo, you play on the right. You've been playing left for a quarter of an hour. Don't you understand?
Liverpool are 7 points behind the Champions League zone, 8 points behind the lost ones
Neymar can play against Barcelona for about 30 minutes
Benfica offers Diego Costa a 2-year contract with a salary of 3 million euros per year
Thierry Henry: Pep is obsessed with tactics. He sees and wants to change so many things that it can be a problem
Cavani is close to an agreement with Boca Juniors. He wants to leave Manchester United in the summer
There are only 6 coaches in the world with a positive balance against Pep. The leader of the rating-Sulscher