American superstar Serena Williams has endorsed Australia’s “super strict” COVID-19 protocols as she completes a two-week quarantine in Adelaide ahead of the Australian Open.
Several of the biggest names in tennis have voiced their displeasure at aspects of the mandatory hotel quarantine since touching down in Australia earlier this month.
But speaking on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Williams praised the “super intense” biosecurity rules, admitting the 14-day quarantine was challenging with a three-year-old daughter.
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“It’s super, super strict, but it’s really good,” Williams said.
“So, Australia right now has, the last I heard, zero cases of COVID. So that is unbelievable, right, the whole country? That is really amazing.
“So when we come here in Australia, everyone has to quarantine in a room for 14 days. It’s insane and super intense but it’s super good because after that you can have a new normal like we were used to this time last year in the United States.”
“They’re doing it right. It’s definitely hard with a three-year-old to be in the hotel all day, but it’s worth it because you want everyone to be safe at the end of the day.”
Williams boasts 23 grand slam singles titles, just one behind the all-time record set by Australia’s Margaret Court.
The 39-year-old’s most recent victory came at the 2017 Australian Open, and she has lost four grand slam finals since.
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After multiple passengers on the charter flights to Australia tested positive to COVID-19, dozens of players have been confined to their hotel rooms for the entirety of their quarantine.
Speaking to CNN, world No. 2 Rafael Nadal said he felt “very sorry” for those in hard lockdown, but sympathised with the event organisers.
“We knew that the measures were going to be strict because we knew that the country is doing great with the pandemic,” Nadal said.
“It’s normal to complain in some way but on the other hand when you have little bit wider perspective of what’s going on … you see how many are dying around the world.
“You see how many people are losing their father, their mum, without having the chance to say goodbye. It’s a real thing, that’s what’s happening in my country for example. Close people to me are suffering this situation.
“You have to stay a little more positive. I feel that we are privileged people today, having the chance to keep doing our jobs.”
The 2021 Australia Open is scheduled to commence on Monday, February 8th.