Thursday of agony in Australia

Melbourne's day was reminiscent of the harrowing rest days of the Tour and the Vuelta. There have been no infections, the bubble works. Scare overcome.


The return of sports competition in times of pandemic has been accompanied since last year by more than one shock. There is no unanswerable formula. One of the most vertiginous balances was cycling with the grand tours, which had to move a platoon from city to city, from hotel to hotel. The rest day in all of them became a tense day, because the positive of a runner could be more dangerous for the outcome of the race than a special category port. A similar sensation is the one that was experienced this Thursday in tennis. This sport also has a deep organizational complexity, because there is no discipline that moves so many individual athletes of so many different nationalities. Australia had set up the perfect bubble in a country practically clean of contagions. In order not to alter this harmonious scenario, the players had to pass a two-week quarantine to ensure the disappearance of any trace of the virus. Once accomplished, the danger disappeared. Get out masks and compete.

The organization has mounted the Melbourne Summer Series, a series of tournaments so that everyone has the opportunity to get a set-up before the first Grand Slam. This week up to six tournaments are taking place simultaneously: two ATP singles, three WTA and the ATP Cup for teams. But the alarm went off on Wednesday with the positive of an employee of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where most of the athletes stay. All the paintings stopped. And the Australian Open began to shake. Up to 502 tennis-related people, out of a total of 600, have had to pass checks again. Melbourne Thursday remembered those agonizing days of rest from the Tour and the Vuelta. There have been no positives, the bubble works. Scare overcome. Tennis is healthy. Let's Play!

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