Confirmed: Djokovic, Nadal, Serena to quarantine in Adelaide

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Six top players will be entering isolation in Adelaide rather than Melbourne as they prepare for the Australian Open.

It’s confirmed – an exclusive group of six players will be quarantining in Adelaide, not Melbourne, and then taking part in an exhibition match before the Australian Open. Tennis Majors reported this news on Friday and Tennis Australia have now confirmed it.

After Tennis Majors’ exclusive story on Friday, Tennis Australia have now confirmed in a statement that a group of players will be placed in isolation in Adelaide when they land on Australian soil – not in Melbourne, like the other participants in the 2021 Australian Open.

The organisers of the first Grand Slam of the year have published a list of the six stars concerned, just as Tennis Majors revealed exclusively:

  • Serena Williams
  • Simona Halep
  • Naomi Osaka
  • Novak Djokovic
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Dominic Thiem

That list includes the ATP’s top three and two of the WTA’s top three – native Aussie Ashleigh Barty is replaced there by Serena Williams.

‘A real coup’

Tennis Australia says that other players will be in Adelaide for their quarantine, but their names have not yet been confirmed. They will probably be the partners chosen by the stars for their training during the 14-day quarantine; if that is the case, Nadal will be accompanied by Jannik Sinner, whereas Djokovic and Thiem should be flanked by their compatriots Filip Krajinovic and Dennis Novak respectively.

After their quarantine – which they will begin on 14 January, the day they arrive in Adelaide – the players will take part in an exhibition, called “A Day at the Drive”, on 29 January, the profits of which will be donated to a charity. Two sessions of matches will be open to the public, with a limited capacity. Adelaide will also host a WTA 500 tournament after the Australian Open, from 22 to 27 February.

“These two tournaments are a real coup for South Australia,” said Steven Marshall, the state’s premier. “To have players of this calibre playing at Memorial Drive is an absolute win for local tennis fans and the South Australian public.

“This is a real show of support for the way that South Australia has managed the COVID-19 pandemic and underlines our ability to attract world-class events.”

No further detail on Adelaide quota

Although it has not been made explicit, Tennis Australia’s statement indicates that players isolated in Adelaide will be subject to the same quarantine conditions as those in Melbourne – five hours a day dedicated to Australian Open preparation activities (training, physical work sessions, care) and the rest of the time to be spent in the room.

Craig Tiley mentioned on The Tennis Channel on Thursday that there will be 50 players in Adelaide, but Tennis Australia have not yet given any further details on that. The number suggests that it would include people beyond training partners and players’ entourages – players are permitted two companions, with the top ten having negotiated to increase that to four.

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