Australian Open Tennis Players Practice in Quarantine


Madison Yee, Staff Writer

Prior to the Australian Open, scheduled to start on Feb. 8, more than 70 players were forced to face a mandatory two-week isolation in compact hotel rooms. While these tennis stars would typically practice for hours on end each day, they now have to find creative ways to practice and work out without courts and their usual setting.

This all began with three charter flights traveling to Melbourne, when health officials discovered that passengers on each plane tested positive for COVID-19 upon their arrival. Due to this difficult circumstance, all 72 participants for the upcoming tournament were stuck with quarantining. Yet, they still had to attempt to make it work so that they could all prepare for one of the biggest grand slams of the year.

Many players have gotten innovative with new activities, exercises, and drills to stay in that perfect “tennis-body shape.” With a clever mindset, Tunisia’s world No. 30, Ons Jabeur, and Kazakhstan’s world No. 28, Yulia Putintseva, made do by using their beds as vertical makeshift backboards in order to work on their ground strokes.

You can truly see the determination, especially since Jabeur even posted a clip of her running a 5k inside of her hotel room, while Yulia set up plastic cones for her cardio-blast agility training—despite two mice intruder incidents.

On the other hand, Czech’s world No. 38, Barbora Strycova, decided to assemble a flat-pack exercise bike to stay fit—and she did it all on her own!

The great thing about this is that audiences can see how these participants expressed their methods by taking their ideas to social media and shared them with their wide community of fellow tennis players and fans.

“First and foremost, you can’t be bitter. That will mentally crush you. It’s about trying to stay sane, figuring out how to make do, and how to hit some balls. But more than anything, it’s all about the positive attitude,” said Brad Gilbert, former touring pro and coach turned ESPN tennis analyst.

Pablo Cuevas, the world’s 70th ranked men’s tennis player has been posting exercises daily, while his followers are loving the happy vibrations and spirit that he gives off during these unprecedented times. Displaying characteristics of a role model, he has been able to impressively use his limited space and items to make a practice court, tanning beach, surfing area with a “mattress surfboard,” and a dance floor—a setup that everyone is jealous of!


Photo courtesy of TENNIS365.COM