Putintseva deals with unwanted guest in Melbourne

The world No. 28 is one of many players impacted by positive test results from flights to Melbourne. (Getty)

Getting over 1,000 people safely into Australia during a pandemic wasn’t going to be easy, but complications have already arisen in the first 48 hours. Three passengers from two chartered flights tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival into Melbourne and the government has required everyone on board to quarantine for 14 days inside their hotel rooms.

Players went to Australia under the pretense they’d be able to leave their rooms for five hours a day to practice. Now, roughly 50 players including Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens, Kei Nishikori, Angelique Kerber, Marta Kostyuk, Yulia Putintseva, Nick Monroe, Alison Riske, Sorana Cirstea, Heather Watson, Belinda Bencic and Vasek Pospisil, are not going to be able to properly prepare for the first major of the year. 

The reactions from players has been a mixture of confusion, anger and acceptance. While some are still going to enjoy large rooms and stellar views for their in-room workouts, Putintseva has been dealt another blow. 

Putintseva said, via Twitter, that no one told them they would be under a stricter quarantine if anyone tested positive on their plane, while Alize Cornet tweeted, “We’ve been told that the plane would be separated by section of 10 people and that if one person of your section was positive, then you had to isolate. Not that the whole plane had to.”

Cornet was not on one of the impacted planes, which included flight QR7493 from Los Angeles and flight EY8004 from Abu Dhabi. Sylvain Brunaeu, coach of Bianca Andreescu, revealed he was the positive test from the Abu Dhabi flight. 

Head over to for more on this developing story.

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