Rising Spanish star Paula Badosa is racing the clock to be fit for the Australian Open after having her isolation period restarted following a positive COVID-19 test.
The 23-year-old had already been isolating in Melbourne under the mandatory 14-day quarantine rule after two co-passengers on a tournament-chartered flight from Abu Dhabi tested positive.
Badosa said on social media on January 21 she had been moved to another “health hotel” to recuperate after feeling unwell.
The world No.67 went on Twitter to say: “I have some bad news. Today, I received a positive COVID-19 test result.
“I’m feeling unwell and have some symptoms, but I’ll try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors.
“I have been taken to a health hotel to self-isolate and be monitored. Thanks for your support. We’ll be back stronger. Paula.”
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said Badosa, who arrived a week ago, would have to isolate for extra time ahead of the February 8 Open start date.
“That’s an unfortunate consequence for anyone who becomes a confirmed case – the isolation period starts from when that case is confirmed,” Sutton said on Friday.
“For ordinary coronavirus that period is at least 10 days, so you have to be free of symptoms for three days and complete that 10 days.
“For the variants of concern, including the UK strain as some call it, that period of isolation is 14 days so it will depend on those elements.”
Sutton said it wouldn’t be made public which strain Badosa had.
Badosa had been a critic of the isolation program, saying it was “unfair” to have to go into hard lockdown because others on the plane had tested positive.
But Sutton said it proved the 14-days hard quarantine for all on infected flights, which includes 72 players, was necessary.
New York-born Badosa is the only competitor to be named as an active coronavirus case.
She has precious little time to recover and be fit for the tournamant after looking forward to making it the starting point for another rise up the rankings in 2021.
Badosa ended 2020 on a high, reaching the last 16 at the French Open and attaining a career-high ranking.
She is due to compete in her third Australian Open, having reached the second round last year before being knocked out by Petra Kvitova.
Meanwhile leading Brazilian umpire Carlos Bernardes, who was down to officiate in Melbourne, suffered a heart attack during quarantine and is recovering.
The ATP reported: “Following admittance to hospital (non-COVID related) on Wednesday in Melbourne, we are pleased to report that ATP Umpire Carlos Bernardes is recovering well.”
Melissa Woods, Ian Chadband in MELBOURNE