Backhand against the bay window, obstacle course on the carpet and smash on the bed… Tennis players qualified for the Australian Open compete in ingenuity to keep in shape in their hotel rooms.
72 of them were placed in a fortnight upon exiting the plane.
Forbidden to train outdoors, they are forced to adapt their exercises and do without a tennis court.
"My plan is to do a big training session of 3 hours in a row, […] like a doubles grand slam match", explains New Zealander Artem Sitak (78th ATP).
Like the Polish Iga Swiatek (17th WTA) or the Swiss Belinda Bencic (12th WTA), he is trying somehow to maintain his physical form for the tournament postponed to February 8.
"Knowing the (health) situation in Australia, […] I knew that the rules were going to be very strict", adds the tennis player who had prepared diagrams to perform his gymnastics in the event of a fortnight.
If some pros have accepted their fate, others have complained on social networks of a difference in treatment and a disadvantage vis-à-vis their opponents who have avoided isolation.
Player Marta Kostyuk felt "helpless" and "very worried" to find out her level at the end of this period of confinement.
Others had already been moved that a contingent of about fifty participants, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep, could carry out their fifteen days of confinement in Adelaide with access to the courts.
For his part, the boss of the Australian Open Craig Tiley made his mea culpa and admitted that "everything that is happening is the result of a failure of the system".