(Reuters) – Alize Cornet apologised on Monday after many social media users hit out at the Frenchwoman for criticising the country’s strict COVID-19 quarantine protocols ahead of next month’s Australian Open.
Seventy-two players and their entourages have to isolate for two weeks and cannot leave their hotel rooms in Melbourne to train after infections were reported on three flights ferrying players.
Cornet said the situation was “insane” because weeks of training was “going to waste” but was quickly reminded that she was better off than many Victorian residents who endured worse as authorities looked to curb the spread of the virus.
“After my last (deleted) tweet I feel like I need to apologise to you Australian people,” she wrote on Twitter https://twitter.com/alizecornet/status/1350827468215648263.
“Your reaction to this tactless comment made me realise what you’ve been through last year and how much you suffered. I guess I feel a bit anxious about all this and I better have shut my mouth.
“But sometimes we make mistakes and the last thing I wanted to do was to hurt your feelings. Don’t be mad at me Aussie people, you’ve always been one of my favourite. I promise I’ll stay quiet for a while.”
The year’s first Grand Slam is scheduled to begin on Feb. 8, which will give quarantined players only one week of practice to get into shape.
New Zealand’s Artem Sitak said tournament organisers Tennis Australia (TA) were doing their best in a difficult situation to make them more comfortable but admitted these were not ideal conditions, especially for singles players.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)