Conor McGregor's stinging serve for whinging Australian Open players

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Conor McGregor, pictured here speaking to the media.
Conor McGregor has hit out at Australian Open players whinging about quarantine. Image: Getty

Conor McGregor has weighed in on the debate surrounding the strict conditions for Australian Open players in hotel quarantine in Melbourne.

A number of players have lashed out in recent days, complaining about the strict restrictions that have seen 72 players placed in hard quarantine for 14 days.

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Ten cases of COVID-19 in Melbourne have been linked to the Australian Open after positive cases were recorded on chartered flights for players arriving from overseas.

On Monday, Spanish player Roberto Bautista-Agut was the latest to air his grievances, describing hotel quarantine as “like jail”.

An unidentified tennis player, pictured here looking out from their hotel room in Melbourne.
An unidentified tennis player looks out from their hotel room in Melbourne. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

“These people have no idea about tennis, about practice courts, no idea about anything,” he said.

“It's a complete disaster because of that, because of the control of everything.

“It's not Tennis Australia. It’s the people from the government ... I feel very, very tight and I cannot imagine staying two weeks like this.”

Bautista-Agut later apologised, saying he didn’t realise his conversation was being recorded.

Amidst the furore, UFC star McGregor has urged the world’s tennis stars to “get their act together.”

Currently quarantining in Abu Dhabi ahead of UFC 257, McGreger called for some perspective.

“I am surprised the tennis players would be kicking up,” McGregor said during an interview with The Project on Wednesday night.

“We have got to correct ourselves here, you know. There is a lot going on. There is at lot at risk. It is everyone’s duty here on this Earth to do what they can.

“To get to compete in such a prestigious tennis tournament or any tournament, a two-week lockdown prior they should welcome that with open arms.

“I would urge the tennis players to get their act together and also embrace it and relish it and be happy they get to compete.

“People can’t go to work and children can’t even go to school. Professional athletes are complaining about a bit of isolation? C’mon, guys.”

A tennis player, pictured here leaving the Pullman Hotel in Melbourne.
A tennis player is seen leaving the Pullman Hotel for their training session. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Victoria Azarenka’s classy response to furore

In similar vain to McGregor, two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is also imploring her lock-downed tennis colleagues to show some empathy for Victorians.

On Tuesday, Azarenka appealed for tennis stars to show understanding for what Victorians went through during a 112-day lockdown last year.

“This has been a very difficult time for a lot of us that did not expect to end up in the situation we are in today, myself included,” Azarenka posted on Twitter.

“To be in a 14-day hard quarantine is very tough to accept in terms of all the work everyone has been putting in during their off-season.

“... I understand all the frustration and feeling of unfairness that has been coming and it is overwhelming.

“... Sometimes things happen and we need to accept, adapt and keep moving.

“I would like to ask all my colleagues for cooperation, understanding and empathy for the local community that has been going through a lot of very demanding restrictions that they did not choose, but were forced to follow.”

with AAP

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