It turns out that trying to host one of the world's biggest sporting events during the peak of a global pandemic isn't the greatest idea. Tennis superstars from around the world recently flocked to Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open, but unsurprisingly, coronavirus cases have already reared their head.
Three flights arriving in the country for the sporting event reported positive cases of COVID on-board, forcing 72 players into hotel quarantine. You know, the quarantine that countless people around the country have had to do as a matter of course?
The lockdown has been dramatic already, with players complaining about conditions and claiming the rules for entering the country had changed overnight. While some complaints have been pretty valid (having a mouse as a quarantine roommate doesn't sound ideal), it's also revealed some pretty entitled behaviour.
In other words, another gaggle of the grotesquely privileged who think the rules don't apply to them. Let's count down the biggest hissy fits from the Aus Open hotel quarantine drama, shall we?
5. Alize Cornet: "Sorry But This Is Insane"
In a since deleted tweet, French tennis star Alize Cornet wrote: "Soon, half of the players from the AO will actually have to isolate. Weeks and weeks of practice and hard work going to waste for one person positive to COVID in a 3/4 empty plane. Sorry but this is insane."
It's fair that competing in a grand slam after two solid weeks of Netflix isn't ideal – a sentiment that Romanian player Sorana Cîrstea backed up. But seriously, complaining to Melburnians about being confined inside? Read the room, people!
Cornet apologised, but not without delivering a sick burn about how we're all just too unsporty to understand. "We are not asking the Victorian residents to play a professional sport [after lockdown]". Thanks, babe.
4. Craig Tilley: "The Australian Attitude Is 'Give It A Go' Which I Think Is Fantastic"
Not technically an Australian Open player, but congrats to Australian Open boss Craig Tilley for making the list anyway. Craig isn't super happy about the tennis players complaining. He's told them to direct complaints to him as opposed to quarantine staff or the Australian public, which is fair.
But in doing so, he's made some pretty wild remarks defending the decision to go ahead with the event.
"There were moments that we would talk to each other and say 'do we really need to do this, is it really going to be feasible?' But the Australian attitude is 'give it a go' which I think is fantastic.
"There hasn't been a sporting event yet, in the height of the pandemic, that has brought in people and athletes to this extent… I would hope it gives the Olympics confidence that it can be done," he said.
There's so much to unpack here, but we'll just say this: COVID isn't impressed or scared away by your heroic venture to bring sports fans together. And there's a pretty solid reason there hasn't been a sporting event at this scale in the "height of the pandemic". The operative word here being pandemic. Smh.
3. Roberto Bautista Agut: "It's The Same [As Prison]"
This isn't the first time a celebrity has compared quarantine to being in jail (hello, Ellen Degeneres).
Spanish player Roberto Bautista Agut during an interview on an Israeli news channel said the quarantine was "like being in jail".
When the interviewer asked if it actually was like being in prison, he responded "it's the same – with Wi-Fi. The government has no idea about tennis, practice courts, no idea about anything."
Roberto since apologised for the comments, tweeting that it was a private conversation "taken out of context".
Regardless, comparing a swanky hotel to literal prison is a pretty entitled move. Especially when staying in said hotel will literally save lives.
2. Vanessa Sierra: "I've Never Washed My Own Hair"
Almost taking home the bouquet for biggest quarantine sook is Vanessa Sierra, who's currently shacked up with her tennis player boyfriend Bernard Tomic. In between smashing endless hours of video games, Sierra took to social media to complain about the conditions. She commented on the small room and cold food, but hair complaints? That's some next level entitlement.
"This is the worst part of quarantine," she lamented. "I don't wash my own hair. I've never washed my own hair. It's just not something that I do. I normally have hairdressers that do it twice a week for me."
She picks up her (seemingly completely fine) hair and chuckles, saying "this is the situation that we're dealing with. I can't wait to get out of quarantine just so I can get my hair done."
We personally can't relate to having someone wash our hair twice a week, so empathising with her plight is a bit difficult.
Thoughts and prayers, though, Vanessa.
1. Novak 'Demands' Djokovic
Congratulations to most insufferable tennis player Novak Djokovic, who is now world no. 1 in more ways than one! Only a few months after hosting a European tournament that gave a bunch of tennis players COVID, Djokovic has pissed many people off with his wild list of demands while in quarantine. Doing his very best imitation of Drake negotiating a backstage rider, the six demands included:
- Fitness and training material in all rooms
- Decent food for 'elite athletes' (as opposed to, you know, other humans)
- Reducing the days of isolation for players
- Permission to visit a coach or trainer if both have negative test results
- Players and coaches to be on the same floor of the hotel
And, by far the most bizarre:
- Move as many players as possible to private houses with a tennis court for training
Ah, yes. We shall move the players to all of those spare mansions we have lying around in the event of a pandemic tennis tournament.
Among those who aren't having a bar of it is infamous Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios, who rightfully called Djokovic a tool.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews responded to the claims, saying there'd be "no special treatment" and that "the answer is no." Get 'em, Dan.
Yup, the pandemic continues to highlight wealth and class inequalities. While millionaires like Novak wince and whine from the comforts of the Hilton, for example, thousands of international students who are more than happy to stick to the rules remain in limbo.
In any case, we wish these elite athletes all the best.
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