Australian Open to start despite quarantine

The Australian Open will go ahead in early February, the tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed on Sunday, despite anger from players now unable to train under strict quarantine.

Earlier this weekend, three coronavirus infections were reported on chartered flights carrying dozens of players and their entourages to Melbourne.

In addition to a 14-day hotel quarantine those players arriving in the city will no longer be able to leave their rooms to train.

But, other players who arrived before the weekend are permitted to train for five hours a day, raising questions about the integrity of the year's first Grand Slam tournament.

Romanian Sorana Cirstea, the women's world number 71, tweeted, "If they would have told us this rule before, I would not play in Australia. I would have stayed home."

Tiley says tournament organisers will accommodate isolated players the best they can:

"The Australian Open is going ahead and we will continue to do the best we possibly can do to ensure those players have the best opportunity."

He added that players who can't leave their rooms will be provided with exercise equipment.