Australian Open Isolating players claim unfair treatment
Complaints about conditions in the Melbourne bubble for the Australian Open continue to emerge, as players are unhappy about their treatment.
On January 15 and 16, all the players and their teams arrived to the Melbourne bubble ahead of the tournament, which has brought over 1000 people into the country.
Meanwhile, a select group of top players, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and the Williams sisters, are in a separate bubble in Adelaide.
Conditions in the two bubbles are worlds apart, however, with the elite group, free from COVID-19 cases enjoying space, luxury and liberty, while the Melbourne lot remain quarantined in more spartan surroundings, with only some allowed out for limited exercise.
Security is tight in Melbourne, with guards in every hotel corridor ensuring the safety measures are adhered to, causing some players to liken it to a “prison or mental hospital”.
Many players in Melbourne have taken to social media to lambast the conditions, complaining about the food, lack of facilities and even the presence of rodents in the rooms.
More than 70 players are in complete isolation, while others are allowed five hours of strictly controlled daily exercise.
The players’ complaints haven’t been entirely well received by members of the public, with some pointing out that they are already enjoying many privileges not available to others during the pandemic due to their status.
The first-round prize money of 60,000 euros isn’t a bad incentive either, with the tournament just 12 days away.