Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka was among the many earliest arrivals into Melbourne on one of many 15 constitution flights bringing gamers and officers into town for the primary Grand Slam tennis match of the 12 months.
And he or she needed everybody to know she was happy to be in Australia regardless of all of the COVID-19 restrictions around the globe and a tournament-enforced 14-day quarantine interval in Melbourne.
Azarenka, who received the match in 2012 and 2013, tweeted Friday: “Made it to Melbourne! Thanks everybody a lot for making it occur. I can solely think about what number of hours of labor and compromise it took for us to be right here! Thanks.”
She included what seemed to be a selfie subsequent to a window with downtown metropolis views.
The Australian Open is ready to begin Feb. 8.
Stan Wawrinka, who received the Australian Open in 2014, additionally posted a photograph of himself and two different gamers, all sporting masks, from what seemed to be the enterprise class part of one of many charters.
Elina Svitolina, a two-time quarterfinalist at Melbourne Park, posted a video of her spacious Melbourne lodge suite.
The charters and the early arrivals are all a part of Tennis Australia’s try to have the match occur regardless of a ban on worldwide arrivals into the nation. To take action, they’re having gamers endure COVID-19 assessments earlier than they board their constitution flights, once more after they arrive and regularly through the quarantine interval.
The primary of about 1,200 gamers, coaches, entourage and officers landed late Thursday. The gamers had been met by airport workers and biosecurity officers sporting private protecting tools together with masks and face shields, earlier than being taken to lodge quarantine.
The virus information wasn’t so good for five-time finalist Andy Murray, whose standing for the Australian Open was put unsure after he examined constructive for COVID-19 solely days earlier than his deliberate flight to Melbourne. The match says that the three-time Grand Slam champion, who was given a wild card for Melbourne, is isolating at residence.
Tennis Australia stated Murray will miss the constitution flights and will not give you the chance “to undergo the quarantine interval with the opposite gamers”. His possibilities of showing on the match look like in critical doubt.
Additionally Individuals Madison Keys and Tennys Sandgren returned constructive assessments, however Sandgren was given permission to fly.
“I sadly examined constructive for (COVID-19) earlier than I used to be speculated to fly to Australia,” Keys stated on social media. “I am very disenchanted to not be capable of play within the coming weeks after coaching exhausting within the low season … I’m self-isolating at residence and can proceed to comply with all the mandatory well being precautions. I sit up for being again on tour subsequent month.”
Sandgren initially examined constructive in November, with Victorian state well being authorities in Australia figuring out he was not contagious although nonetheless shedding viral particles.
“My two assessments had been lower than eight weeks aside. I used to be sick in November, completely wholesome now,” Sandgren tweeted. “There’s not a single documented case the place I might be contagious at this level. Completely recovered!”
The Australian Open has already been delayed three weeks as a result of restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic. And due to the Australian restrictions, the boys’s and ladies’s qualifying tournaments — in Doha, Qatar and in Dubai — had been held outdoors of Australia for the primary time.
The 15 constitution flights had been restricted to 25 % capability, and had been set to reach over a 36-hour interval ending early Saturday.
As soon as a unfavourable consequence has been returned, gamers can prepare inside a strictly supervised atmosphere for 5 hours per day.
The Australian Open draw will likely be held on Feb. 4, 4 days forward of the beginning of the primary match, which ends Feb. 21 with the boys’s singles last.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams will likely be amongst a gaggle of gamers concerned in an exhibition occasion in Adelaide, South Australia, on Jan. 29. These gamers had been anticipated to fly straight to Adelaide to start their lodge quarantine interval.
All different tournaments will likely be in Melbourne, together with the 12-team ATP Cup beginning Feb. 1 and two WTA occasions within the week main into the Australian Open.