By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – As one of many 47 tennis gamers pressured into a tough isolation forward of the Australian Open, New Zealand’s Artem Sitak could also be bouncing off the partitions of his Melbourne resort room by the top of his 14-day quarantine.

The Russia-born doubles specialist was on flight QR7493 from Los Angeles, sharing the chartered airplane with three individuals who examined constructive to COVID-19 after touchdown in Melbourne.

Now, as one of many two-dozen gamers aboard the flight deemed “shut contacts” of the contaminated trio, Sitak is successfully in solitary confinement on the View Melbourne, an interior metropolis resort transformed right into a quarantine facility.

Not like different gamers who arrived safely and have the posh of leaving their motels to coach 5 hours a day, the 34-year-old can not even open his door for the specter of a A$20,000 ($15,400) fantastic below Australia’s strict quarantine regime.

Some gamers have complained and mentioned they’re at a drawback in comparison with better-prepared opponents forward of the Feb. 8-21 Grand Slam.

However Sitak is philosophical, and intends to burn via the hours with train, studying and taking part in video games on his Nintendo Change (NYSE:).

“All the pieces that I did within the low season … I had six superb weeks of coaching, it’s not utterly ruined nevertheless it’s not the identical now,” he instructed Reuters in an interview.

“Clearly after I come out of the quarantine, we’re all going to be a bit bit rusty.

“We’re going to need to ease into it a bit bit as a result of it’s not simple to be locked down for 14 days. However what are you able to do with the circumstances?”

Sitak gave Reuters a digital tour of his room, a bland however comfy sufficient area with a window that overlooks a city-scape.

With no housekeeping out there, he laughed that his room was a little bit of a large number on day three of quarantine.

However there was “wonderful espresso”, an train bike and different health tools that event organisers Tennis Australia (TA) had despatched to his room.

He mentioned he was consuming the meals served by the resort however different gamers have been unhappy with it and have been utilizing a meals supply app as an alternative.

“We instructed Tennis Australia that it’s lower than the skilled tennis participant’s requirements, so they’re engaged on enhancing that,” he mentioned.

“They gave us the Uber (NYSE:) Eats, if we need to order Uber Eats we’ll get more money ultimately with our prizemoney to compensate for that.”

He praised TA for making an attempt exhausting to make one of the best of a troublesome scenario. But he additionally had sympathy for gamers involved concerning the dangers of competing after two weeks caught of their rooms.

“Yeah, positively, particularly for singles gamers if they’ve to return out and go play a singles match, it’s very troublesome, it’s extraordinarily troublesome,” he mentioned.

“I hope for everybody that they’ll be fantastic and there shall be no accidents. It might occur.

“However as I mentioned in my (social media) submit, we knew the chance we have been taking and Australia being very, very strict with their guidelines regarding the virus … this was at all times a risk.”

Sitak mentioned he had been impressed by the creativity of Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, one other tennis professional in exhausting isolation.

The world quantity 68 Cuevas posted video on social media of himself hitting a ball in opposition to an upturned mattress in his room and “browsing” on his mattress.

“That was fairly cool,” mentioned Sitak. “He has a fairly large room, so he can truly swing his racket in it. I don’t assume I can swing my racket on this room.”

($1 = 1.2984 Australian {dollars})