Player tests positive in Australian Open bubble

Spain's Paula Badosa suffered a setback ahead of the Australian Open and has been shifted to a different hotel

Spain's Paula Badosa is set to miss the Australian Open

WTA World No 67 Paula Badosa is set to miss the Australian Open as she tested positive for the virus in Melbourne on Thursday.

Badosa had travelled to Melbourne from Abu Dhabi from one of the flights that had returned with a positive test. Hence the Spaniard was one of the 72 players put into strict quarantine from Day 1.

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“I’m feeling unwell and have some symptoms,” Badosa wrote on twitter. “But I’ll try and recover as soon as possible, listening to the doctors.

“I have been taken to a health hotel to self-isolate and be monitored. Thanks for your support. We’ll be back stronger.”

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The Spaniard is the first player to test positive while in Melbourne. As many as seven people related to Australian Open had tested positive earlier. Two of them were players but have been deemed non-infectious as they are only shedding the virus.

A lot of players forced into hard quarantine – which denies them the allotted five hours of training and practice—have complained of being confined to their rooms ahead of a Grand Slam. But Badosa’s case goes some way in justifying why the organisers have put the iron-clad protocols in place.

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Meanwhile Sky News Australia reported on Thursday that World No 1 Ashleigh Barty had breached protocols as she visited a supermarket in Melbourne without a mask recently.

Barty’s manager had said that it was an honest mistake and she would be vigilant in the future.

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It is a slightly awkward time for the affable Aussie as she had called on her fellow tennis players to make sure they follow the protocols in place for the major.

“The circumstances around this year’s event are definitely challenging and I understand the frustration of all the players who have had to quarantine, but keeping Melburnians safe and making sure we put health first has to be the ­priority,” Barty had told the Herald Sun.