Alexander Zverev's shock Covid claim in Australian Open interview

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·Sports Editor
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Alexander Zverev, pictured here at the Australian Open.
Alexander Zverev reckons 'quite a few' players at the Australian Open would have Covid-19. Image: Getty/Channel Nine

Alexander Zverev has made the startling claim that "quite a few players" at the Australian Open have Covid-19 but simply haven't been tested.

French player Ugo Humbert revealed on Wednesday that he'd tested positive for Covid, a day after his first round defeat against compatriot Richard Gasquet.

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Humbert will now be forced him to isolate in Australia for a week.

The positive case is the first for the Australian Open, however Zverev reckons there is probably more among players who haven't been tested.

"I think quite a few players had it when they arrived. Quite a few players, I think, have it now," the German No.3 seed said on Wednesday after his win over Australian veteran John Millman.

"We're not getting tested, so I think if we would get tested there would be probably more positives than there are now, in a way."

Zverev said he's been taking his own extra precautions to avoid infection by being in a "bubble for myself".

"We are allowed to go outside to eat, allowed to do whatever we want, so I think it's natural that more people get Covid," he added.

"I understand that there is a lot of cases in Melbourne, in Australia all around. So I don't do much outside, I haven't been to any restaurants yet, I haven't been out.

"I haven't been anywhere but the hotel room and the courts, so I'm kind of doing a bubble for myself, simply because I don't want to take any risks and I want to give myself the best chance possible to do well here."

Alexander Zverev, pictured here speaking to Dylan Alcott after his win over John Millman at the Australian Open.
Alexander Zverev speaks to Dylan Alcott after his win over John Millman at the Australian Open. (Photo by Frank Molter/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Australian player Bernard Tomic previously criticised the lack of testing being done before testing positive himself.

"I can't believe nobody is getting tested," he said during a match during Australian Open qualifying.

"They're allowing players to come onto the court with rapid tests in their room ... No official PCR testing."

When asked about how Covid protocols were affecting her, World No.1 Ash Barty said: "My routine? I'm a hermit. It doesn't affect me too much. For us, it's pretty low-key.

"We come and practice and do what we need to do. Otherwise, a good book and a coffee and I'm set."

Alexander Zverev too good for John Millman

Zverev was speaking after his 6-4 6-4 6-0 victory over World No.89 Millman on Rod Laver Arena.

The Olympic gold medallist was in scintillating touch, completing the victory in two hours to further stake his claim for a breakthrough grand slam title.

With nine-time champion Novak Djokovic back in Serbia, Zverev and World No.2 Daniil Medvedev are in the box seat to claim this year's title at Melbourne Park.

Millman threw everything he could at Zverev during a compelling first two sets, before the 24-year-old went to another level to close out the match.

"I could really feel you guys had been in lockdown for two years," Zverev said of the crowd.

"It was really an amazing, amazing atmosphere. Hopefully it gets louder for the next few matches.

"I have said that in the past two years since Covid started, I think sports need the atmosphere.

"Sports need the people. It doesn't matter whether you are for me or against me, I enjoy the noise, and I enjoy being on court in front of all you guys."

with AAP

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