Australian Open 2021 year is courting unsavory headlines even before it has begun.
After reports that 47 players – 24 on a flight from LA and 23 on a boat from Abu Dhabi – bound for the year’s first Grand Slam will not be able to train during the 14-day quarantine period as a few of their fellow passengers tested positive for Covid-19, there’s more grim news to make the organizers lose their appetites.
It now turns out that several players, who are already under quarantine at their designated hotels, have voiced their misgivings over the quality and quantity of food being provided to them.
Many of them, including the likes of Frenchman Benoit Paire, veteran Italian Fabio Fognini, Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, and current World Number 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas’ brother Petros have taken to their Instagram pages to share images of the breakfast and luncheon platters being served under quarantine.
The pictures are tagged with messages, clearly suggesting that they are not amused by what is being offered.
Currently ranked 775 by the ATP, Petros posted an image of what looks like a frugal luncheon platter – consisting of just two slices of bread, laced with mayonnaise possibly and some scrambled eggs, lettuce leaves and onion rings thrown in between. The post is simply titled, ‘Lunch’.
Another, posted by World Number 15 Busta, is an image of a luncheon spread, if one may call it that. It features a white bowl with a smattering of noodles, mixed with vegetables and meat (though not clear), some sauce to lace the noodles with and an apple.
A third image shared by the 17th-ranked Fognini is a repeat of the platter that Busta received. His post is aptly titled, “Could be a better lunch…next time of course!!!”
The next is an image shared by the 28-ranked Paire. It is of a luncheon course consisting of bread with meat topping, a smattering of white cream and a slice of avocado.
The Frenchman shared another image of some edible offering wrapped neatly in a trademark brown McDonald’s packet that was delivered to his hotel room.
Tennis Australia has already slashed the prize purse for the final week at the Australian Open, in both the singles and doubles formats, citing the pandemic and the financial blow it has wrought.
However, the quality of food, by the looks of it, has been hit no less.