Tennis players in inequality

Australia has decreed a total confinement of two weeks, without the option of training, for 72 tennis players, including Badosa, Alcaraz and Vilella.


This Monday, January 18, the Australian Open was supposed to start on its original dates, but the pandemic forced it to be delayed for three weeks, along with a series of mandatory preventive measures for tennis players. Instead of starting the tournament, the players are this week spread out in hotels where they must spend a 14-day quarantine. The agreement with the organizer and the authorities allows them to go out five hours a day to dedicate exclusively to their preparation. Those are the conditions, and those who have not accepted them, like Roger Federer and John Isner, have stayed home. The solution, which combines local laws with the minimum needs of the tennis player, was the best to save the Grand Slam against the push of the virus. The alternative was to cancel it.

The stage allows players to comply with the norm without losing form, and above all in equality. No one will arrive with an advantage, not even the members of the elite bubble that has been organized in Adelaide with the first rackets in the ranking, who enjoy greater peace in their privileged isolation, but with the same activity hours as their rivals in Melbourne. The balance, however, has been broken in the first days of quarantine by some unexpected events: the positives detected in three of the 15 official flights. Australia has decreed total confinement, without the possibility of training, for the 72 tennis players who traveled in those planes, including the Spanish Paula Badosa, Carlos Alcaraz and Mario Vilella. The complaints of those affected sound with phrases such as "all work overboard." And the word "boycott" also circulates if a way out is not figured out. Novak Djokovic has proposed some to the tournament management, such as moving them to private houses with courts. Something will have to be done. Without threatening health, of course, but also to safeguard the fairness of the competition.

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