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‘No room to swing a racket’: New Zealand participant shares lockdown life By Reuters


By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – As one of many 47 tennis gamers pressured into a tough isolation forward of the Australian Open, New Zealand’s Artem Sitak could also be bouncing off the partitions of his Melbourne resort room by the tip of his 14-day quarantine.

The Russia-born doubles specialist was on flight QR7493 from Los Angeles, sharing the chartered airplane with three individuals who examined constructive to COVID-19 after touchdown in Melbourne.

Now, as one of many two-dozen gamers aboard the flight deemed “shut contacts” of the contaminated trio, Sitak is successfully in solitary confinement on the View Melbourne, an interior metropolis resort transformed right into a quarantine facility.

In contrast to different gamers who arrived safely and have the posh of leaving their accommodations to coach 5 hours a day, the 34-year-old can’t even open his door for the specter of a A$20,000 ($15,400) positive below Australia’s strict quarantine regime.

Some gamers have complained and mentioned they’re at an obstacle in comparison with better-prepared opponents forward of the Feb. 8-21 Grand Slam.

However Sitak is philosophical, and intends to burn by means of the hours with train, studying and enjoying video games on his Nintendo Change (NYSE:).

“Every little thing that I did within the low season … I had six excellent weeks of coaching, it’s not utterly ruined but it surely’s not the identical now,” he informed Reuters in an interview.

“Clearly after I come out of the quarantine, we’re all going to be just a little bit rusty.

“We’re going to need to ease into it just a little bit as a result of it’s not simple to be locked down for 14 days. However what are you able to do with the circumstances?”

Sitak gave Reuters a digital tour of his room, a bland however snug sufficient area with a window that overlooks a city-scape.

With no housekeeping accessible, he laughed that his room was a little bit of a multitude on day three of quarantine.

However there was “superb espresso”, an train bike and different health gear that event organisers Tennis Australia (TA) had despatched to his room.

He mentioned he was consuming the meals served by the resort however different gamers have been unhappy with it and have been utilizing a meals supply app as a substitute.

“We informed Tennis Australia that it’s less than the skilled tennis participant’s requirements, so they’re engaged on enhancing that,” he mentioned.

“They gave us the Uber (NYSE:) Eats, if we need to order Uber Eats we’ll get extra cash in the long run with our prizemoney to compensate for that.”

He praised TA for making an attempt arduous to make the perfect of a troublesome state of affairs. But he additionally had sympathy for gamers involved in regards to the dangers of competing after two weeks caught of their rooms.

“Yeah, undoubtedly, particularly for singles gamers if they’ve to come back out and go play a singles match, it’s very troublesome, it’s extraordinarily troublesome,” he mentioned.

“I hope for everybody that they’ll be positive and there might be no accidents. It may occur.

“However as I mentioned in my (social media) put up, we knew the danger we have been taking and Australia being very, very strict with their guidelines in regards to the virus … this was all the time a risk.”

Sitak mentioned he had been impressed by the creativity of Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, one other tennis professional in arduous isolation.

The world quantity 68 Cuevas posted video on social media of himself hitting a ball towards an upturned mattress in his room and “browsing” on his mattress.

“That was fairly cool,” mentioned Sitak. “He has a reasonably large room, so he can really swing his racket in it. I don’t assume I can swing my racket on this room.”

($1 = 1.2984 Australian {dollars})