The Royal Tennis Association of Spain (RFET in Spanish) wants to express its support and solidarity with all the Spanish players who are now suffering the consequences of the lockdown in Australia. While respecting the decisions of the Australian Government and Tennis Australia, the RFET wants to state the following:
- The players were warned and notified of their exclusion from the Australian Open and their entry into the country in case of testing positive in any of the many PCRs that were made to them.
- However, they were not advised of the possibility that they would be strictly confined if they were to travel on the same plane with a passenger who tested positive, regardless of the physical proximity of the player and the passenger who tested positive.
- We understand all the precautions and measures taken for the sake of the health of players, spectators, workers and residents, but we believe that these measures should have been compatible with the mental and physical health of the athletes.
- In the specific case of two Spanish players the situation is very complex and seriously compromises all these aspects. Mario Vilella and Carlos Alcaraz (underage) are confined in a room without being able to exit the room for 14 days when both of them have had multiple negative PCR tests.
- It is clear that these 2 players, with access to the final draw of the Australian Open, will not be able to compete on equal terms with the rest of the players. And it is not only a competitive problem of this first Grand Slam. The issue is that their season could be severely damaged by a 14-day lockdown.
- The affected tennis players are elite athletes who need to stay active to be able to perform and not to get injured. Not to mention the psychological damage that affects the athlete in a sport in which the mental facet is so demanding.
For all these reasons, from the RFET we ask Tennis Australia to try to solve the problem of the most affected tennis players; Mario Vilella and Carlos Alcaraz, the two of them Spanish players, who are the ones that directly concern our field of action.