Spanish player Paula Badosa, the only player to test positive for the virus in Melbourne so far, has slammed the Australian Open putting her in ‘lamentable conditions’ during the quarantine period.
The World No 67 had tested positive for the virus on Thursday but said she still did not know which strain of virus she had and that she hadn’t been provided with any gym equipment to train on.
“I feel abandoned because I don’t have training equipment which I requested five days ago,” Badosa said in an interview with Spanish daily Marca.
“I haven’t been told which type of the virus I have; I’ve had no information from the tournament.”
According to the rules at the Australian Open, she would be kept in quarantine for a longer period if she has a British strain of the virus, which is supposedly more infectious. If she does have the British strain, she will be forced into quarantine until February 5, just three days before the Australian Open starts.
If not, she may be able to leave her room by January 31. Badosa was one of the 72 players already in strict quarantine because she was on one of the charter flights that had a co-passenger test positive for the virus.
“It’s far and away the worst experience of my career,” Badosa said. “The conditions here are lamentable, I wasn’t expecting that.
“The number one thing people recommend when you have the virus is to open the windows to let in air, but I don’t have windows in my hotel room and it’s barely 15 metres square.
“I have lost a lot of my fitness levels, especially my strength. If I can come out on January 31 I’ll have a week to get in shape. If it’s February 5 it’ll be impossible to recover in time (for the tournament).”
Though she said that Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley had helped her with some issues, she believes the bio-bubble in Melbourne is disorganized. However, the 23-year-old hasn’t yet given up hope of competing at the first major of the season.
“I’ve been fighting my whole life to play ‘Grand Slam’ tournaments and the last thing I would do is not play it. I’m going to try it because you never know,” she said.