To avoid being in violation of a clear missive from the government of Victoria, the current top-three in the men’s and women’s fields were hosted in Adelaide to ensure that designated hotels in Melbourne don’t take in players beyond the individual capacities set for them.
The move left many in doubt as to whether the top players camping in Adelaide have been asked to submit to the same quarantine rules as the ones isolating in Melbourne or are being accorded certain special privileges considering their stature in the game.
Now Thiem, last year’s finalist at Melbourne Park and the reigning US Open champion, has put all doubts to rest by saying that there is no disparity in rules and nothing in the way the top rankers are being treated that would put them at an advantage as the tournament opens.
In an interview to a German television network, the Austrian superstar said, “The quarantine regulations are exactly the same as in Melbourne, from which there will be no great advantage.”
Thiem did concede that things are a lot less hectic in the South Australian city, as it is not hosting 300 players. “Of course, it is perhaps a bit more pleasant in Adelaide where there are not 300 people there, but only about 20,” Thiem said.
The Austrian will feature in one of the exhibition events slated for Friday.
On the tune-up exhibition tennis events that the men’s and women’s top three would have to play as part of an agreement reached between Tennis Australia and the South Australian government, Thiem said it will help boost local businesses and raise money for the community.
“It also raises money for the region, which is a good thing. It will also be the first exhibition in front of people again,” Thiem said.
The pre-tournament noise coming out of Melbourne hasn’t been music to the ears of the organizers, with several players complaining about the food being served under quarantine. Practice schedules have also been disrupted, leaving the players fuming.