MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Victoria state government on Friday confirmed one new case of COVID-19 in the group of people in quarantine in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, a few hours after Spanish player Paula Badosa said she had tested positive for the virus.
Badosa was the first player entered for next month’s Grand Slam to confirm a positive test, although four were among the 10 cases announced earlier this week.
There has been confusion over the exact numbers, however, with several test results later reclassified by Victoria health authorities as “viral shedding” from previous infections.
Badosa, the world number 67, flew to Australia from Abu Dhabi and was halfway through her 14 days of quarantine when her test came back positive and she was moved to a “health hotel”.
“I’m feeling unwell and have symptoms, but I’ll try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors,” the 23-year-old posted on Twitter.
While most of the players are able to train for up to five hours a day, as many as 72 players have been strictly confined to their hotel rooms after some passengers on the three charter flights that brought them to Australia tested positive.
The Spanish tennis federation (RFET) on Thursday complained to tournament organisers about the treatment of two of those confined — Spaniards Mario Vilella and Carlos Alcaraz.
In a statement, the RFET said the players had not been informed that they would be strictly confined to their rooms if they were on a flight with someone who tested positive “regardless of the physical proximity”.
The federation said it was clear that the duo would not be able to compete on “equal terms” at the Grand Slam and that the confinement could result in physical and psychological harm.
“We ask Tennis Australia to try to solve the problem of the most affected tennis players,” the statement concluded.
Tennis Australia was not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Shri Navaratnam)