Practically 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) from Melbourne, the qualifying event has been accomplished for the Australian Open, with 16 males and 16 girls set to affix the singles primary draw starting Feb. eight.
The qualifiers be part of the group of gamers who’ll start arriving Thursday on 15 constitution flight and instantly go right into a 14-day quarantine beneath strict rules in Australia for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beneath the protocols, all gamers needed to to return a detrimental check earlier than boarding their flights to Australia, and can be subjected to additional testing on arrival and isolation till the outcomes are acquired.
However there’s already been an exception, with American participant Tennys Sandgren reportedly allowed on one of many Australia-bound flights regardless of just lately testing optimistic for coronavirus.
Sandgren examined optimistic to COVID-19 on Monday, after initially testing optimistic in late November, and was initially barred from the flight containing worldwide gamers out of Los Angeles.
Nevertheless, he was then allowed to affix the delayed flight. He posted on social media to say he wasn’t contagious.
“My two exams had been lower than eight weeks aside. I used to be sick in November, completely wholesome now,” the No. 50-ranked Sandgren tweeted. “There’s not a single documented case the place I’d be contagious at this level. Completely recovered!”
A quarterfinalist at Melbourne Park in 2018 and 2020, Sandgren was supported by Tennis Australia, who reportedly stated they adopted Victorian state authorities pointers in permitting him on to the flight.
“Some individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and who’re non-infectious can proceed to shed the virus for a number of months,” Tennis Australia stated, in keeping with Australian Related Press. “Victorian Authorities public well being consultants assess every case primarily based on further detailed medical information to make sure they aren’t infectious earlier than checking into the constitution flights.”
The season’s first main has already been delayed by three weeks due to restrictions in place for the pandemic, and the boys’s and ladies’s qualifying tournaments — in Doha, Qatar and in Dubai — had been held outdoors of Australia for the primary time.
The ladies qualifiers embrace two-time Australian Open and Roland Garros doubles champion Timea Babos of Hungary and British participant Francesca Jones, who has a uncommon genetic situation.
Jones has ectrodactyly ectodermal dysplasia, which suggests she was born with three fingers and a thumb on every hand, three toes on her proper foot and 4 toes on her left.
On the boys’s facet, the qualifiers embrace 17-year-old ATP newcomer of the yr, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain.
Six girls and 6 males may also journey to Australia as fortunate losers and endure obligatory quarantine like the remainder of the worldwide gamers, hoping to get a spot in the principle draw as cowl for accidents or withdrawals. There are 104 direct entries primarily based on rankings for the boys’s and ladies’s singles primary draw, plus wild-card entries and the qualifiers.
The 15 flights might be at not more than 25% capability, and can arrive over a 36-hour interval ending early Saturday.
As soon as a detrimental consequence has been returned, gamers can prepare inside a strictly supervised surroundings for five-hours per day, and gamers and their groups might be examined day by day throughout quarantine.
The Australian Open draw might be held on Feb. four, 4 days forward of the beginning of the principle event, which ends Feb. 21 with the boys’s singles last.
Novak Djokovic is the defending males’s champion and Sofia Kenin is the ladies’s defending champion.
Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams might be amongst a gaggle of gamers concerned in an exhibition occasion in Adelaide, South Australia state, on Jan. 29. All different tournaments might be in Melbourne, together with the 12-team ATP Cup beginning Feb. 1 and two WTA occasions within the week main into the Australian Open.