Covid-infected tennis star slams 'pitiful' quarantine conditions

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
 Paula Badosa. (Getty Images)
Paula Badosa. (Getty Images)

A Spanish tennis player who attracted criticism for hitting out at coronavirus quarantine rules and then testing positive has complained she is being forced to endure "pitiful" conditions ahead of the Australian Open.

World No 67 Paula Badosa told Spanish newspaper Marca she felt abandoned in a small Melbourne hotel room after being diagnosed with the virus.

The 23-year-old was among several players who complained about their quarantine ahead of the delayed, season-opening Grand Slam, before apologising on Twitter last week.

But in a new salvo Badosa, who was moved to a different hotel after testing positive, told Marca the Melbourne quarantine was one of the worst experiences of her career.

"I don't have windows in my room that is barely 15 square metres (160 square feet)," she said, in comments published on Monday.

"It's obvious that the only thing I breathe in is the virus. I have asked for cleaning products, like a vacuum cleaner, but they haven't given me anything."

Tournament organisers previously said they were providing exercise equipment for players, many of whom turned their rooms into makeshift gyms and have been hitting balls against hotel walls.

But Badosa said she had been waiting five days for training equipment to be sent to her room.

"I feel abandoned because I don't have the material to train with, that I asked for five days ago," she said.

"They don't inform me about the type of virus I have, even though after three days it is known. No information about the tournament."

Some players, including men's world No 1 Novak Djokovic, who is quarantining in Adelaide, have taken issue with the lockdown arrangements.

Badosa was one of 72 players confined to their hotel rooms for 14 days on arrival after positive cases were detected on their flights to Australia. Other players were allowed out to train for five hours a day.

Player complaints have drawn an unsympathetic reaction from the Australian public, many of whom defended the strict isolation measures as necessary in the largely virus-free country.

The Australian Open, delayed for three weeks over coronavirus complications, is scheduled to begin on 8 February after a series of build-up tournaments in Melbourne.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Lions 267/6
Dolphins 375/10
loading... Live
Titans 263/10
Knights 307/6
loading... Live
Cape Cobras 513/6
Warriors 32/1
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
41% - 12509 votes
12% - 3741 votes
19% - 5676 votes
3% - 790 votes
1% - 302 votes
2% - 712 votes
5% - 1556 votes
8% - 2549 votes
3% - 1058 votes
Water sports
1% - 276 votes
American sports
1% - 390 votes
3% - 1019 votes