Kontaveit from isolation: I am trying to maintain my mood
Estonian tennis player Anett Kontaveit is currently isolating in her hotel room ahead of the Australian Open Grand Slam event. She spoke to ETV's "Ringvaade" on Wednesday about the situation and how she spends her days in her hotel room.
Since there were positive cases of COVID-19 diagnosed among players flying to Australia for the Aussie Open, a total of 72 players were told to isolate in their hotel rooms for 14 days. In addition, they are not allowed to move outdoors for any reason, leaving training to be done in their room.
The players are disgruntled as a result of the local government's decision. "Since there are currently zero infected people in Melbourne, as people spent five or more months in their homes and were only allowed outside for an hour to breathe fresh air," the Estonian top player said.
"Our two weeks in quarantine - we should not complain too hard about it, but there is a Grand Slam coming, we are professional athletes and the preparation is not enough to be ready for such a tournament," Kontaveit added.
The situation is made more complicated by the fact that other players, who arrived on different flights, have been allowed to train during the time. "Our situation is very unequal. All players came here with the knowledge that we will be quarantined with the exemption of being allowed to train for five hours a day," she noted.
"But now we are only in our rooms and cannot do any kind of training versus the players who can play for five hours each day. Plus, I have given four tests that have all been negative. It seems very unlikely that I have the virus," Kontaveit said.
Many players have posted on social media about how they have moved things around in their room to create space to train. "I personally do not have enough strength to lift and move my bed. My room is too small to make tennis-like movements. My training is mostly limited to cycling and the exercises I can do here," Kontaveit noted.
That is how the two weeks will likely pass. "Realistically looking, it seems to me that we will be in our rooms for 14 days and I doubt it will change. They are talking with the Australian Health department and are discussing something. That is all I know," the world 23-ranked player said.
In addition to being locked in her room, Kontaveit cannot go out to her balcony nor open any windoes. "Our windows do not open. We are in a closed room. I try to start my morning by working out on the exercise bike or by exercising. Read during the day, do a little bit of school.
"I have some kind of activity that is not just looking at the computer. I have a light workout in the evening. I talk to the girls who were in the group that we were supposed to train with and who are also in their rooms. We try to support each other. It is nice and unusual to me, as I usually do not talk to other players this much, it has been fun," Kontaveit said.
The hardest part is maintaining a good mood. Expectations are also more modest this year: "I am going there with not as high expectations, as noone can actually estimate how this two weeks will affect us.
"I cannot hold a racquet, move around on the court, do the things we usually do. My biggest goal is trying to keep in shape and active in this room. Maintain my mood as well as I can and give my best, considering the situation," Kontaveit said.
The Australian Open's main tournament is set to begin on February 8.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste