'We need fresh air to breathe': Kazakh ace Putintseva protests strict hotel lockdown ahead of Australian Open
Kazakh tennis star Yulia Putintseva has posted a protest from her hotel room in Melbourne over being forced to quarantine for two weeks before playing in the Australian Open.
The 26-year-old was among those to severely criticize the Grand Slam tournament's organizers for implementing strict quarantine rules, forcing 72 players into a lengthy lockdown after positive Covid-19 cases were detected on several charter flights carrying competitors to Melbourne.
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The player took to social media to express her anger, posting a picture of herself in a hotel room holding a sign which had the mocked-up message: "We need fresh air to breathe."
Putintseva accompanied the post with the hashtags "#freshairisimportant" and "#atleast10minutesaday," complaining that players are not even allowed to leave their rooms.
Putintseva said that it would be enormously difficult to compete following 14 days without playing practice, blaming the organizers for subjecting the players to the conditions.
Several days ago, she complained about struggling to change rooms after she spotted a mouse inside her hotel suite.
Been trying to change the room for a 2 hours already ! And no one came to help due to quarantine situation🤦🏼♀️ pic.twitter.com/LAowgWqw58— Yulia Putintseva (@PutintsevaYulia) January 16, 2021
The Australian Open is set to get underway in Melbourne on Monday, February 8, with the tournament running through to Sunday, February 21.