By Zac Cornell
Much like the NBA players who entertained us during their initial quarantine in the bubble last year, many of the world’s top tennis players are sharing their quarantine training on their social media accounts as they complete a required two week quarantine in Melbourne before the Australian Open. The tournament was delayed three weeks after positive COVID-19 cases on three charter flights caused 72 players to be confined to their hotel rooms for 14 days.
While many quarantined players are being good sports about the restrictions, even sharing their lock-down training activities, some others have complained of the unfair advantage enjoyed by superstar players such as Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, who were flown to Adelaide and are able to train five hours a day as they did not get exposure to the virus.
However the quarantined players are coming up with creative ways to compensate. Pablo Cuevas, the Uruguayan star ranked 68th in the world, put a mattress vertically against the wall to practice his backhand in his hotel room. Belinda Bencic, who is ranked 12th in the world, developed a new indoor training technique, practicing her two-handed backhands against her hotel window, and sharing footage on social media. She wrote “Wrong surface, but that doesn’t matter for us.”
Aryna Sabalenka even started a #Grand Hyatt Challenge hitting balls against the hotel window, which was accepted by Anastasia Potapova.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Unstoppable😤<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/grandhyattchallange?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#grandhyattchallange</a> from <a href=”https://twitter.com/SabalenkaA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@SabalenkaA</a> accepted. 🤪🎾 <a href=”https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@AustralianOpen</a> <a href=”https://t.co/9ElQDTt1dh”>pic.twitter.com/9ElQDTt1dh</a></p>— Anastasia Potapova/Анастасия Потапова (@nastiaapotapova) <a href=”https://twitter.com/nastiaapotapova/status/1350693494344413186?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 17, 2021</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Not all players have limited their content to tennis training however. Cuevas also shared video footage of himself bed-surfing!
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”es” dir=”ltr”>Pablo Cuevas 😂🙈 (🎥Cuevas instagram) <a href=”https://t.co/SJe2ErQcXr”>pic.twitter.com/SJe2ErQcXr</a></p>— Rena (@_irenka23_) <a href=”https://twitter.com/_irenka23_/status/1350655588166991874?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 17, 2021</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
And Frances Tiafoe shared his not-so-nutritious snacking stash:
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Lol Foe’s snacks <a href=”https://t.co/PCyoq9CGPb”>pic.twitter.com/PCyoq9CGPb</a></p>— C’mon Museum! (@ChumJetzeAnyone) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ChumJetzeAnyone/status/1350722644149198851?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 17, 2021</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
The Australian Open will now take place from February 8 – 21st. In the meantime you can see more athlete’s quarantine fun by checking out this article by Baseline Tennis: