Updated Jan 19, 2021 - Sports

2 tennis players test positive for coronavirus ahead of Australian Open

A tennis player (C) leaves the hotel for a training session in Melbourne on January 19

A tennis player (C) leaves hotel quarantine for a training session in Melbourne on Tuesday. The players to test positive for COVID-19 have not been publicly identified. Photo: William West/AFP via Getty Images

Two tennis players are among seven people involved in the Australian Open to test positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Melbourne, health authorities in the state of Victoria said Tuesday.

Why it matters: Some tennis stars including men's world No. 1 Novak Djokovic had sent a letter demanding Victorian authorities ease strict coronavirus quarantine rules for players ahead of the season-opening tennis major's start on Feb. 8.

The big picture: 72 players were required to fully isolate in their hotel rooms for 14 days after five people traveling on the same charter flights as them and others connected to the tournament tested positive for the virus.

  • Other players who weren't on those flights are allowed to train outside for certain periods.

What they're saying: Victorian Premier Dan Andrews told reporters Monday the same rules applied to tennis players as everybody else.

  • Andrews said the players had been briefed on quarantine conditions. "There's no special treatment here," he said. "The virus doesn't treat you specially, so neither do we."
  • Outspoken Australian player Nick Kyrgios responded to Djokovic's complaint by tweeting, "Djokovic is a tool."

For the record: State capital Melbourne had one of the world's longest lockdowns, with restrictions in place for 139 days before being lifted last October.

  • Victoria has now gone 13 consecutive days with no new locally acquired coronavirus cases, according to the state Health Department.
  • There are currently 34 active cases in the state, including three infections in the community.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper