The Australian Open will start Down Under on February 8th. Organizationally, the first Grand Slam tournament of the new year turned out to be a mammoth task. At least 18 flights have been chartered to fly 1200 players, officials and staff to Australia. A 14-day quarantine awaits them all there. The flight, which is supposed to bring the US stars from Los Angeles to Melbourne, is already causing the first excitement!
Tennys Sandgren tested positive for the corona virus on Monday before departure. Nevertheless, he is allowed to travel to Australia. Together with numerous other players and other passengers.
Plane turns back again
The case is actually clear – with Corona he has to stay at home. It looks like that for the time being. “At least I can keep my points,” he reacts ironically on Twitter. But then comes the turning point. As the well-informed tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg reports on Twitter, the machine has to turn back to the gate shortly before take off. And Sandgren, who brought Roger Federer to the brink of elimination in the quarter-finals last year, is allowed on board.
“Wow, I’m on the plane … Craig Tiley is a magician,” tweeted Sandgren, referring to the CEO of Tennis Australia. Did Tiley just allow a corona infected gamer to enter the country?
Infected as early as November
The spokesman for “Tennis Australia” explains the case like this: The world number 50 has tested positive for the second time. He was infected with the corona virus last November. Victoria state authorities have found Sandgren recovered and no longer contagious despite the positive test: “Some people who have recovered from Covid-19 and are not infectious can continue to break down the virus for several months.”
Still playing with fire. Because the whole thing doesn’t fit into the enormous security precautions of the tournament bosses. During the quarantine, players are allowed to leave the hotel room for a maximum of five hours per day – only for training and treatment. In addition, “the players and their teams are tested every day from their arrival in Australia, a much more stringent process than for everyone else in hotel quarantine.” (smi)