‘I need the gym but I’m only allowed five hours outside’ – Tennis giant details Australian quarantine concerns
Reilly Opelka is concerned that the restrictions on players’ movement while they quarantine in Melbourne will hamper his efforts to be in the best possible physical shape at the Australian Open.
During the initial two-week quarantine period after arrivals Down Under players are being allowed to spend only five hours each day outside their hotel rooms. They have to squeeze practice sessions, gym time and work with their physios into those five hours.
Opelka has had some major injuries and would normally expect to spend several hours a day working on them, especially with his physio. A knee injury has been a particular problem.
“My body’s been a big issue,” the world No 39 said before he flew to Australia. “My body hasn’t held up well, and I need access to the gym, I need access to my physio, but I’m allowed only five hours a day outside my room. I will have to use that time wisely.
“For two weeks I’m concerned with the lack of time and work that I’ll be doing and the limited time for my body specifically for my need. So you know, it would be a shame if I fly 24 hours on the plane down to Australia and I don’t get to work that much with my physio for two weeks and don’t get to do the things that a professional tennis player needs to do to be ready to compete.”
“It would be a shame if I fly 24 hours on the plane down to Australia and I don’t get to work that much with my physio”
With restrictions on the numbers of accompanying personnel, Opelka and his fellow American, Taylor Fritz, will share a physio and a coach for the duration of the Australian trip. “We have no choice but to share everything because we’re really limited on things,” Opelka said.
He added: “My goals for 2021 are to stay healthy and really make sure I’m getting stronger and getting fitter and I’m able to play a full season without too many setbacks. I need to make sure that I’m ready for 2022 2023 to really make those my big years.”
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