Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley is adamant there is a “rigorous” COVID-19 testing program in place for all players at the Australian Open, but several players have challenged that opinion in their press conferences today.
In an interview with Nine host James Bracey tonight during the broadcaster’s Australian Open coverage, Tiley was asked to clarify the responsibilities and requirements imposed on players by Tennis Australia.
“Throughout the year the players have been travelling around the world. There have been protocols they have had to follow to do that,” he said.
LIVE UPDATES: Kyrgios fumes at umpire in Medvedev clash
READ MORE: Kyrgios opens up on COVID-19 struggles
“We are working closely with the men’s and the women’s tours and came up with a set of protocols that are more rigorous than their week in week out travels.
“Arriving into Australia, every player had to test.
“On days five and seven they had to test.
“There is also mandatory symptomatic testing and every player is provided each day with a rapid antigen kit they can pick up either at the hotel or here onsite.
“That is really the program we have had going. So far it has worked well and been successful.”
The explanation from Tiley was called for after several players raised differences in their testing regimes today.
When asked by the media how many times she has been tested since arriving in Melbourne, third seed Garbine Muguruza said testing was optional and that she was not required to inform anyone of her results.
“I test every two days by myself in my room,” she said.
“It’s not mandatory. I still do it.”
Meanwhile, perhaps more casually, British player Heather Watson said she felt the grand slam’s COVID-19 rules were beginning to resemble “normal life” before revealing she had not tested herself since play began nor had she been asked to.
“I haven’t tested since Adelaide personally, no,” she told reporters.
“I think once you’ve done your day five, that’s the rules.”
To confuse things even further, Aussie wildcard Maddison Inglis also contributed to the discussion, further highlighting the testing trust system seemingly at play.
“I’ve been in Melbourne since November, really early November, so I haven’t had to do really any tests because I’ve been in Melbourne,” she said.
“I want to keep myself and my team safe and everyone around me. So I am doing weekly antigens just for precaution. Just being really careful.
“I’m pretty much at the tennis and at the hotel.”
Frenchman Ugo Humbert is the first, and so far, only player to test positive for COVID-19, however Alexander Zverev last night raised fears that other players were currently COVID positive.
Humbert returned a positive result just hours after losing his first-round match and exiting the tournament.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!