Badosa: "If I open the door of the room they can sanction me"

The Spanish will have to spend 14 days locked up and unable to train because a trainer who was traveling on his flight from Abu Dhabi tested positive.


From her room at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Melbourne, Paula Badosa (New York, 23 years old) attended AS via Zoom shortly after learning that she would have to spend 14 days locked up and unable to train because a coach who was traveling on her flight from Abu Dabi tested positive. The Spanish tennis player applauds the restrictions of the Australian Government, but affirms that she did not even see the affected person and that the norm said that the quarantine would be established by sections and not for the entire plane.

How did you find out what happened?

They sent us an email saying that a person from our flight had tested positive. He had told us at the beginning that the control was by sections and that if someone of ours tested positive we would have to go into strict quarantine. In mine we were very careful, I was going with the person who was going to train with me (Marta Kostyuk), we did tests in Abu Dhabi and we had it under control. And from one day to the next they have changed the norm and have extended it to the entire flight. That is what I complain about, I understand the measures and that is why it is a country that does not have deaths, but the rules cannot be changed from one day to the next without warning. In the paperwork it did not put any of that. It's pretty fucked up.

What has the organization told you?

We have been given few solutions beyond having to stay in the room all day. We have nothing to exercise, not a stationary bike. So it is very difficult to get to a tournament. I have been in the preseason for two months and now I cannot be without playing 20 days, more before a Grand Slam.

Are you going to bring them something to exercise?

We have asked for it and we are waiting for you to give us something, but there is no space in the room either. Mine is very small and the window cannot be opened. If I open the door of the room they can sanction me, I can only do it when they bring me the food. It's a bit mentally overwhelming to know that we'll be locked up here like this for so many days.

Which players were on your flight?

Kerber, Cirstea, Bencic, Sakkari, Rybakinba, Kostyuk, Andreescu, Yastremska, Kuznetsova, Jabeur, Putintseva, Strycova ...

And what do they say?

We had a meeting and they complained a lot. We have made a group of whatsapp to see what we can do.

And has the WTA intervened?

We're trying to talk to see what they can do.

How is this handled mentally?

It's going to be tough, I can't even see my coach. We have traveled together, in the end he is a person who has been with me all the time and was going to train with him in the room. It doesn't make much sense that we can't meet and he helps me with the exercises. It is difficult to be locked up and know that in two weeks I have to play the WTA 500 and then a Grand Slam.

Is there any glimmer of hope that these measures will be softened or is there no way?

Not at the moment. But we will fight even if it is to be able to be training in a week.

Did you have any contact with the person who tested positive, who is a coach?

I did not see him on the flight, I had no contact with him.

How are you going to structure the days?

I am in shock and I don't know how to prepare for the day to day. They will give me instructions to exercise, but little else.

How does it feel?

Well, overwhelmed, this can create anxiety, being locked in a room of 20 square meters.

Will your psychologist help you?

Yes, he will try to help me these days from a distance. I'll try to work on that.

In social networks he asked about series to watch without knowing that he would have to see many ...

Yes, at first I thought it was for a couple of days, but I'm going to have to ask again (smiles) .

For those who are not familiar with the routine of an athlete, what does it mean to lose 14 days of preparation now?

I may lose more than half of my current performance. Strength, cardio ... an outrage in an elite sport in which everything goes to the millimeter and before a Grand Slam, which is the most important tournament for tennis players. On top of that, I was very bad after losing in Abu Dhabi, due to things other than COVID, and I have not played an extra week and I am going to get three, which is a mountain.

How's Kostyuk?

She is having a hard time, like everyone else. We are talking a lot to find solutions because it seems unfair to us that the rules were changed. Being fucked and angry, I admit that I think it is good that the Australian Government makes these restrictions so harsh, but I repeat that you cannot change things overnight. That is why we are going to fight because that is wrong. We took precautions knowing what was there. If we had known this, we could have asked ourselves if it was worth coming, but they did not give us that option.

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