Tennis Player Roberto Bautista Agut Compares Melbourne Hotel Quarantine To Jail
By Stewart Perrie
Another tennis player who has flown Down Under for the Australian Open has complained about his conditions in hotel quarantine.
Roberto Bautista Agut is one of many who are finding the conditions tough and has been very vocal about his feelings while being cooped up.
Speaking to Sport5, the Spaniard world number 13 said: "It's like [being] in a jail.
"It's the same [as being in prison], but with wifi. These people have no idea about tennis and about practice courts and it's a complete disaster.
"The control of everything isn't Tennis Australia, it's with the [Victorian] Government [and health officials].
"I was feeling very, very tight and I cannot imagine staying like this for two weeks. It's tough and I think we have to work a lot mentally and be patient."
His comments have raised a few eyebrows from some people who have argued that while the conditions aren't ideal, they're necessary during a pandemic.
Nine people across three different chartered flights have tested positive for Covid-19 since arriving in Australia.
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With the competition due to kick off on February 8, some players are complaining that they're not being able to access training facilities to prepare them for the grand slam.
World number one, Novak Djokovic, has been one of the many people voicing their concerns about the conditions in hotel quarantine.
He even issued several demands to hotel staff, which included fitness and training material in all rooms, decent food for athletes, reducing the days needed for isolation, permission to visit their coach or physical trainer, have those two people be on the same floor as the player and move athletes to private houses that have tennis courts to allow them to practice.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has told everyone that those demands will not be met and reminded them they were told exactly what the conditions would be before they left.
"People are free to provide a list of demands. But the answer is no," he said. "That was very clearly laid out beforehand. So the notion that there's been any change, the notion that people weren't briefed - I think that that argument really has no integrity whatsoever.
"That was the condition on which they came. There's no special treatment here.
"I'm here not so much to be opining about how in touch with the real world these people are. That's not my job. My job is to make it very clear. People were told what the rules were (before they got here).
"The arrangements for the tennis are based on public health advice. The advice was, 'It's not easy, it has to be done properly'. Despite commentary from players about what they'd like to do... it's about what needs to be done."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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