Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa has become the first player to test positive to Covid-19 while in hard quarantine ahead of the Australian Open.

The world No 67 was one of 72 players forced to isolate in their hotel rooms after passengers on three separate charter flights to Melbourne tested positive.

The 23-year-old took to Twitter late on Thursday night, stating that she had tested positive on the seventh day of her isolation. Authorities have not confirmed where she contracted the virus.

Paula Badosa

January 21, 2021

“I have some bad news. Today I received a positive COVID-19 test result. I’m feeling unwell and have some symptoms, but I’ll try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors,” she said.

“I’ve been taken to a health hotel [medi-hotel] to self-isolate and be monitored.”

Originally all players travelling to participate in the Australia Open were meant to enter a bubble where, after testing negative upon arrival, they would be allowed to leave their room for five hours a day to train at specially designated tennis courts.

But this plan was complicated when three international charter flights had passengers test negative to Covid-19 prior to taking off, but positive upon arrival in Melbourne, suggesting they may have been contagious while flying.

More than 100 passengers, made up of players, their support teams and international media, were then deemed close contacts and forced to isolate in their rooms for two weeks with no ability to train.

Those forced to isolate include two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, American Sloane Stephens and Japanese star Kei Nishikori.

Scottish player Andy Murray remains in London after testing positive before departing for Australia and world No 7 Maddison Keys was forced to bow out of the competition after she contracted the virus.

But players isolating are not the only problem the Australian Open bubble is facing. Victorian premier Daniel Andrews apologised on Thursday to residents living next to one of the Australian Open quarantine hotels after used PPE from overflowing biohazard bins blew into their apartment foyer.

Andrews said a garbage truck “turned up late” at the View hotel on St Kilda Road and that arrangements were in place to ensure it did not happen again.



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