While some Australian Open tennis players are moaning about Victoria’s quarantine rules, others are making the most of it – showing off their fit bodies, and their funny sides, on social media.
So far 72 players have been told to quarantine and not leave their hotel rooms for 14 days – not even for the daily practice they previously thought they would be allowed.
The players were ordered into a strict quarantine until the first week of February after five people that arrived on the same planes as tested positive for coronavirus.
The Grand Slam tennis tournament, due to start on February 8, three weeks later than usual because of other Covid-19 disruptions, was thrown further into chaos by the player lockdowns.
One of the best clips posted on social media by the bored players in lockdown ahead of the Australian Open was Russians Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Daria Kasatkina (both pictured) who pretended to play through the wall on Tik Tok
Some players moaned that their practice would be wasted because they’d lose form while stuck in a hotel room, others took a more light-hearted approach, posting videos and photos on Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter.
Uruguayan Pablo Cueva posted clips thrashing a few backhands against a mattress in his room, then relaxing with a facial treatment, accompanied by the Frank Sinatra classic ‘That’s Life’.
One of the tournament favourites, Naomi Osaka, 23, made it clear she wasn’t bothered by the lockdown as long as she could pose for a few stylish Instagram selfies.
Aryna Sabalenka (pictured) turned selfie queen for an afternoon during her first day of lockdown
Superstar Naomi Osaka (pictured) posted thoughts on a 14 day lockdown: ‘I’ll be fine…I brought my camera with me’
World no.3 Naomi Osaka (pictured) strikes a pose in her hotel room during the strict pre-Australian Open quarantine
Alongside a selfie, she wrote: ‘Them: “you sure you aren’t gonna be bored in your room during quarantine?”
‘Me: “I’ll be fine…I brought my camera with me.”‘
Kazakh star Yulia Putintseva also got in on the action, filming herself using the side of a closet to practice rallies.
Meanwhile, Russians Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Daria Kasatkina posted a funny, action-packed video pretending to play a match from their rooms despite being separated by a wall.
Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, posted clips of herself kitted up and practising her ball skills against the hotel window and made time for a few fun selfies too.
Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas (pictured) hammered a few rallies against a mattress then chilled with a facial and some Frank Sinatra
American Tennys Sandgren (pictured) showed he’d overcome Covid by… lifting an exercise bike over his head
Greek player Maria Sakkari passed the time getting zen with some yoga poses on her Instagram
Young Australian men’s hopeful Alex De Minaur posted a video of himself dressed in full practice gear waiting by the hotel door, with his full racket bag on his back with the message: ‘Waiting for practice today’.
American Tennys Sandgren, which is his real name, was allowed to come to Melbourne despite testing positive for coronavirus recently, because authorities believed he no longer infectious.
And the star was keen to show he was fighting fit by weightlifting an exercise bike in another amusing if slightly bizarre clip.
Czech Barbora Strycova (pictured) put together an exercise bike from scratch in a sped-up video then showed off her slim tummy
French player Alize Cornet (pictured) described the lockdown situation as ‘insane’ in a since deleted post
Argentine Diego Schwartzmann, who has recently broken into the top ten, posted a video which looked like he was imagining winning the tournament when he fell to his knees.
The light-hearted moments from quarantined tennis players are a contrast to the complaints than poured onto social media over the weekend.
French tennis star Alize Cornet has apologized for her complaints about hard quarantine restrictions imposed on players ahead of the Australian Open and vowed to ‘stay quiet for a while’.
Ms Cornet, 30, had ranted about ‘insane’ restrictions after she and 71 other players were restricted to their hotel rooms for 14 days, unable to practice or train, because five fellow passengers across three flights to Melbourne had returned positive coronavirus tests.
Australian Alex De Mintaur (pictured) posted a photo of himself sitting sadly by the front door, ready to play
Marcelo Arévalo González (pictured) practised volleys using his mattress while in lockdown
On Monday, Ms Cornet backtracked, deleted her complaint and apologised, recognising the hardships Victorians had suffered by going through almost four months of hard lockdowns last year.
Other players complaining about the lack of training included Swiss Belinda Bencic and Romanian Sorana Cirstea, who tweeted: ‘I would need at least 3 weeks after in order to be in decent form again and compete at a high level!’
She also wrote: ‘People complaining we are entitled. I have no issues to stay 14 days in the room watching Netflix. Believe me this is a dream come true, holiday even. What we cant do is COMPETE after we have stayed 14 days on a couch.’
One of the big movers in the rankings on the men’s tour, Argentine Diego Schwartzmann (pictured) posted a clip of himself imagining Australian Open glory
Belinda Bencic (pictured) took her mind off quarantine boredom to get some practice in using the strong windows as a backboard
‘This is the issue, not the quarantine rule.’
On a dramatic day, world No.1 Novak Djokovic has reportedly issued a list of demands for the tennis players forced into hard quarantine in the lead up to the Open.
Anti-vaxxer Djokovic, who flew in with a team of ten people to Adelaide and is not subject to the same hard quarantine, has reportedly called on Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley to fulfill a list of requests.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic (pictured) is also asking for as many quarantined players as possible to stay in private houses with a tennis court to train on
According to Spanish tennis website Punto de Break, the world No. 1 wants fitness and training materials in all rooms, decent food, and for the 14-day quarantine period to be reduced by carrying out more tests.
Djokovic is also asking for as many players as possible to be placed in private houses with a tennis court to train on.
While Tennis Australia haven’t publicly responded to the 33-year-old’s demands, he has been blasted as a hypocrite online.