Australian Open: Players get creative to handle boredom

Sunbathing by window, hitting balls against mattress is the new normal for participants

REUTERS January 18, 2021

Subathing by the window, hitting balls against a mattress and running sprints in corridors, quarantined tennis players are getting creative as they try to kill time in their hotel rooms before next month's Australian Open.

Passengers on three Australian Open charter flights have been sent into hard quarantine, with more than 70 players unable to train outside their hotel rooms for 14 days ahead of the year's first Grand Slam that begins on Feb. 8.

Other players who arrived on different flights are also undertaking a mandatory quarantine but are permitted to leave their hotel rooms for five hours a day to train.

"I'm committed to do whatever it takes to get ready despite the circumstances. Time to get creative," Tunisia's Ons Jabeur said in a tweet accompanied by a video of her hitting a ball against an upturned mattress.

World number 38 Barbora Strycova posted a video of herself assembling an exercise bike and joked she may have found her true calling.

"Anyone in need of my services? We can make it happen after these 14 days," Strycova added.

Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas continued his beach-themed videos after pretending to ride the waves on his bed by "sunbathing" in front of his window.

However, American Reilly Opelka said he was not a fan of the videos and said players should count themselves lucky to be in Melbourne for the tournament.

"I find tennis players sharing their quarantine workouts on their Instagram story so non-amusing. We already saw these same videos six months ago," Opelka tweeted.

"Not even something to joke about ... We're fortunate enough to even be in Australia.


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