Spanish tennis player says she tested positive for COVID-19

(AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) A Spanish tennis player ranked in the top 70 who was forced to quarantine in her hotel room after potentially being exposed to the coronavirus on an Australian Open charter flight says she tested positive for COVID-19.

Paula Badosa, a 23-year-old who reached the fourth round at last year's French Open, wrote Thursday on Twitter that she received her test result for the illness caused by the coronavirus on the seventh day of her hard quarantine.

"I have some bad news," Badosa said in a post written in Spanish and English. "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've been taken to a health hotel to self isolate and be monitored."

Badosa was among the 72 tennis players who have been placed under a stricter lockdown - unable to leave their hotel rooms at all for two weeks - after being on a flight with someone who tested positive upon arrival in Melbourne.

On Friday, Victorian state Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said Badosa would now have to isolate for extra time ahead of the Feb. 8 Australian 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. "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."

On Twitter, 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. Those tweets have since been deleted.

Tennis Australia has refused to identify those dozens of players, but several have posted on social media about being in the hard quarantine.

There were 17 tournament charter flights that arrived in Australia over three days last week. Players and their entourages then needed to go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine ahead of the tournament.

The tournament was delayed by three weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Badosa was on a flight carrying players and others to Melbourne from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

She is ranked 67th in singles and lost in the second round of the 2020 Australian Open last January. Her career-best Grand Slam singles showing came in October at Roland Garros.

Meanwhile, Brazilian chair umpire Carlos Bernardes, who was scheduled to officiate in Melbourne, became ill at his quarantine hotel and is recovering in a hospital.

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." Local media reported Bernardes had a heart attack.

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Updated January 21, 2021