Australian Open quarterfinalist and World No. 50, Tennys Sandgren is currently on a flight to Australia, after testing positive to COVID-19 this week. The Australian Open is a tournament Sandgren has had great success at in recent years, making the quarterfinals twice.
The American player posted a series of tweets regarding his status on whether or not he would be allowed to fly to Australia from LAX.
The tweets include, “COVID positive over thanksgiving, COVID positive on Monday.”
“Update: maybe I can fly tmrw.”
“Wow I’m on the plane.” “Craig Tiley is a wizard.”
A Tennis Australia spokesperson told the Herald Sun they will not comment on individual cases, but did give a statement saying: “Some people who have recovered from COVID-19 and who are non-infectious can continue to shed the virus for several months.
“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 government however, stated that all Australian Open players and teams must test negative for COVID-19 before getting on a plane.
Victorian Police and Emergency Services Minister, Lisa Neville said this week that players would not be allowed to board their flights if they had tested positive before departure.
“They need to test negative before they fly,” she said.
In another twist of events, tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg just tweeted that “Aus Open flight leaving from LAX has been forced to retuned to its gate.” The reason for the return to gate is currently unclear.
Rothenberg followed up with confirmation that no one got off the plane: "They have takeoff from LAX, folks! From what I hear, no one left the plane before takeoff."
A lot of confusion for Australians and rules surrounding COVID-19 and the Australian Open. Could Tiley and his team be looking to bend the rules?