Ashleigh Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer has slammed Australia’s "ridiculous" quarantine rules.
Barty returned to Australia last month for the first time since March. COVID-19 restrictions had forced her to travel from tournament to tournament, unable to go back home.
According to the Australian Associated Press, Barty was denied a home quarantine period on arrival, despite testing negative for COVID-19 on at least 68 occasions this year. Instead, she had to spend two weeks in a hotel.
"For travellers coming back, if you're an Australian overseas, they don't make it easy," Tyzzer explained.
"You can't get flights, it's ridiculously expensive and you've got to do two weeks' quarantine in a hotel where you can't open windows.
"You get tested basically the same amount in the tournaments, both players and their teams. So we were up to 68 when Ash left for London and I left to come home to Australia.
"It's part of what we had to put up with this year. It's not much fun. You know at least everybody around you and in the tournaments are safe and Covid-free so it certainly enables you to operate.
"But to come back and do another couple of weeks [in quarantine] after two tests and finding out you're negative, it's a bit ridiculous."
After withdrawing from Indian Wells and the Billie Jean King Cup, it is unknown whether Barty will compete at the season-ending WTA Finals. The tournament has been relocated from China to Mexico due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If Barty did compete in Mexico, she would have to quarantine for another two weeks upon her return to Australia in November. This would impact her preparation for the Australian Open, which gets underway on January 17th.
Tyzzer hinted the quarantine rules would likely result in Barty’s withdrawal from the WTA Finals.
"Obviously having the right (Australian Open) lead-up is ideal," he said. "Being able to get a pre-season in is massive.
"So obviously the more time we get to work on the things we need to work on and progress in this sport will give us the best opportunity coming into the summer, that's for sure."
He also warned that players would drop out of the upcoming Australian Open if the quarantine rules were not relaxed.
"I know that players won't come out if they have to quarantine," he revealed. "There's already quite a few who we've spoken to who have said if it's like last year, they're not coming."
Barty has enjoyed a highly-successful season, which included victories at the Melbourne Open, Miami Open, Stuttgart Open, Cincinnati Open and Wimbledon.
She is set to see out the year-end as world number one, regardless of whether she competes at the WTA Finals.News Now - Sport News