More than 70 players have been confined to their rooms after some passengers on three charter flights that brought them to Australia tested positive for the new coronavirus. "We apologize to TA if our statement has at any time been interpreted as a criticism of their working methods, nothing is further from our intention," RFET said in a statement. The federation had said on Thursday said two players - Mario Vilella and Carlos Alcaraz - had not been informed they would be strictly confined if they were on a flight with someone who tested positive "regardless of the physical proximity".
World number one Ash Barty is itching to get back to competitive tennis at the Australian Open but has poured cold water on the idea that she might be set to end the 43-year wait for a homegrown women's champion. Barty reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park for the first time last year before sitting out most of the rest of the season at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 24-year-old remains Australia's best hope of singles success when the year's first Grand Slam starts on Feb. 8 but Barty urged her compatriots not to get their hopes up.
Novak Djokovic and his defending champion Serbia squad will play Germany and Canada in group play at the ATP Cup from Feb. 1-5 at Melbourne Park.