Nadal, Serena support strict Covid-19 protocols in Australian Open
Sept 2, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Serena Williams of the USA celebrates after defeating Kaia Kanepi of Estonia in a fourth round match on day seven of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. [Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports]

Rafael Nadal feels tennis players are privileged to be able to compete at the Australian Open during the Covid-19 pandemic and urged fellow participants to have a wider perspective of the strict health measures in the country.

About 1,200 participants were allowed to fly to Australia for the summer of tennis as thousands of its citizens are unable to return home due to travel restrictions.

Players are serving 14 days of isolation during which they are allowed five hours outside their rooms each day to train for the year’s first Grand Slam, which has been delayed by three weeks and will be played from February 8-21.

But 72 players have been confined to their rooms after passengers on the charter flights that carried them to Australia tested positive to the virus.

Nadal, along with top players like Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, is isolating in Adelaide and said he felt “very sorry” for those in hard isolation.

Nadal, Serena support strict Covid-19 protocols in Australian Open
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 21, 2020 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his semi final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev [REUTERS/Toby Melville]

“But when we came here we knew the measures were going to be strict because we knew that the country is doing great with the pandemic,” the Spaniard told CNN.

“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.”

Australia has recorded more than 22,000 cases and 909 deaths from the novel coronavirus. It had no new local cases for the 10th straight day yesterday.

After the 14-day isolation, players will be allowed to train normally and then compete at tune-up events next week.

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