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Tennys Sandgren boards flight to Melbourne for Australian Open despite recent positive COVID-19 test


American tennis player Tennys Sandgren says he has been allowed to board a chartered flight to Melbourne for the Australian Open, despite recently testing positive for coronavirus.

Sandgren tweeted he tested “COVID positive” on Monday, after originally testing positive in late November, and was initially barred from the flight containing international players out of Los Angeles.

But the world number 50 said he was then allowed to join the delayed flight, calling Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley a “wizard”.

Sandgren, a two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist, tweeted he was not contagious and had “totally recovered”.

“My two tests were less than eight weeks apart. I was sick in November, totally healthy now,” his tweet read.

Tennis Australia (TA) would not comment specifically on Sandgren’s situation but said it was following Victorian Government guidelines on players being allowed to fly to Melbourne.

“Some people who have recovered from COVID-19 and who are non-infectious can continue to shed the virus for several months,” TA said in a statement.

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“Victorian Government public health experts assess each case based on additional detailed medical records to ensure they are not infectious before checking in to the charter flights.

The Australian Open will start at Melbourne Park on February 8 and run until February 21.

The first players contesting the Australian Open are scheduled to arrive in Melbourne this evening.

Earlier this week, three hotels were added to Victoria’s hotel quarantine program to accommodate the arrivals.

These are the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne, the View on St Kilda Road, and the Pullman hotel in Albert Park.

The entrance to the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.
There will be three quarantine hotels for Australian Open tennis players and staff in Melbourne.(ABC News: Chris Le Page)

Players and their support people will be allowed to leave their hotel rooms for up to five hours per day to complete training.

Each hotel will have its own dedicated training facility.

Dedicated training venues have also been set up at Melbourne Park, the National Tennis Centre and Albert Reserve.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are on a separate charter flight that will fly direct to Adelaide for a planned exhibition event in the South Australian capital.

AAP



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