Paula Badosa becomes first Australian Open tennis player to reveal positive Covid-19 test

Rising tennis star Paula Badosa announced on Thursday that she has tested positive for Covid-19 — the first known Australian Open player to contract the virus.

The 23-year-old Spaniard is among dozens of players now quarantining in Melbourne ahead of the Grand Slam event next month.

“I have some bad news. Today I received a positive Covid-19 test result. I’m feeling unwell and have some symptoms, but I’ll try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors. I’ve been taken to a health hotel to self-isolate and be monitored,” Badosa posted on Twitter, thanking her supporters.

A number of competing players had generated public anger in Australia after they expressed frustration at being kept in quarantine ahead of the first grand slam of the tennis season.

In what appeared to be a reference to the backlash, Badosa added in a separate post afterward, “quarantine & preventive measures are pivotal right now. I talked about rules that changed overnight but I understand the sad situation we are living. Sorry guys.”

Prior to testing positive, Badosa was isolating under a mandatory 14-day quarantine rule. She is ranked No. 67 in the world and has competed in two Australian Opens. She most notably reached the round-of-16 at last year’s French Open.

Players arriving in the Australian state of Victoria have been placed into a 14-day quarantine ahead of their grand slam matches. Most have been allotted five hours each day to go out and train in strict bio-secure bubbles, but 72 players have been unable to leave their hotel rooms and cannot practice, under strict quarantine rules after passengers on their flights tested positive for Covid-19.

At least seven confirmed cases, including non-playing participants, have been linked to the tournament, according to the state government of Victoria, where Melbourne is located.

Melbourne, the second-most populous city in Australia, was under a hard lockdown for 111 days last year. Residents contended with a curfew, closures of businesses, bans on leaving their homes, online schooling and job losses.

Some Melbourne residents have expressed concerns about the tournament’s impact on the community. Many are worried restrictions could be reimposed if the virus — particularly new, potentially more transmissible variants — managed to get into the population because of the tournament.

The Australian Open is scheduled to start on February 8, three weeks after its original start date. The government has allowed for 1,270 foreigners to enter the country to participate in the event, in the face of some of the world’s most stringent arrival policies.

Blogs

Thierry Henry steps down as coach of CF Montreal due to family reasons

Thierry Henry steps down as coach of CF Montreal due to family reasons

Former Arsenal star Thierry Henry is stepping down as head coach of Major League Soccer (MLS) side CF Montreal due to family reasons. Henry made the announcement on Twitter, saying: “It is with a heavy heart that I’m writing this message. The last year has been an extremely difficult one for me personally. Due to…

Father of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker drowns in southern Brazil

Father of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker drowns in southern Brazil

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker is mourning the loss of his father, who drowned in Lavras do Sul, Brazil near the border with Uruguay. “We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Alisson Becker’s father, Jose, in Brazil on Wednesday,” Liverpool said on its Twitter feed. The thoughts of everybody at the club are with…

Brisbane is the ‘preferred host’ for 2032 Olympics, IOC announces

The Australian city of Brisbane is the “preferred host” for the 2032 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Wednesday, in a move which officials said was designed to bring “stability” to the Games after the delay of the Tokyo 2020 edition. IOC President Thomas Bach announced at a news conference Wednesday that the…

Real Madrid breaks Atalanta hearts with late goal after controversial red card

Real Madrid breaks Atalanta hearts with late goal after controversial red card

In a match that was largely low on quality, it was a standout moment of brilliance that eventually gave Real Madrid a narrow 1-0 win over 10-man Atalanta in the Champions League round of 16. Full back Ferland Mendy broke the deadlock with only four minutes remaining with a delightful goal from outside the area,…

Headlines