'I feel abandoned': Ugly new fallout in Aus Open quarantine debacle

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Paula Badosa cuts a frustrated figure during a tennis match.
Paula Badosa has hit out at Australian Open organisers over quarantine conditions. Pic: Getty

Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa has hit out at Australian Open officials after claiming she's been left "abandoned" by organisers of the grand slam tennis event.

The World No.67 was the first player to test positive for coronavirus upon arriving in Australia ahead of the tournament.

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She has been part of the 72-strong group in hard lockdown in Melbourne after flying in on chartered planes from overseas.

Badosa claims the accomodation she's been afforded and the facilities at her disposal are sub-standard.

The 23-year-old said she had suffered from anxiety and claustrophobia, and has been using water bottles as weights to try to stay in shape.

"I feel abandoned because I don't have training equipment which I requested five days ago," she told Spanish newspaper Marca on Monday.

"I haven't been told which type of the virus I have, I've had no information from the tournament."

Badosa also says the hotel room that she's sharing with coach Javier Marti is not suitable for an elite athlete.

"It's far and away the worst experience of my career," she 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 square metres."

Seen here, Paula Badosa looks on in a third round tennis match at the French Open.
Paula Badosa says quarantine in Melbourne has been the worst experience of her life. Pic: Getty

Badosa is due to leave quarantine on January 31, but if if she is found to have the new strain of the virus then it will be February 5. The tournament is due to begin on February 8.

"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."

Australian Open organisers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Spaniard arrived in Melbourne after playing in Abu Dhabi earlier this month and was on her seventh day in quarantine when her test came back positive.

A total of 72 players have been confined to hotel rooms for two weeks after passengers on three charter flights taking them to Australia had tested positive.

Quarantine conditions under fire from players

Last week, Kazakhstan's world No.28 Yulia Putintseva complained she had been struggling to sleep in her hotel room due to rodents scurrying around.

Putintseva made headlines after taking to social media to complain about her hotel conditions after appearing to film a mouse running around her hotel room.

“Been trying to change the room for a 2 hours already,” she wrote.

“And no one came to help due to quarantine situation.”

Despite her unfortunate rodent situation, Putintseva came under fire for another protest about her quarantine conditions.

The tennis star held up a cardboard sign and on social media wrote: “We need fresh air to breathe.”

Many on social media have since told the Kazakh to stop complaining and to see the larger picture of the unfortunate situation.

One Aussie tennis player even mocked Putintseva's protest in a clip that's gone viral on social media.

In the video, Ellen Perez jumps in the bathtub and complains about having no fresh air to breathe under water, in what is a clear shot at Putintseva.

with AAP

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