Alexander Zverev Australian Open 2022

‘We’re not getting tested!’ – Alexander Zverev concerned by lax Australian Open Covid protocols

Alexander Zverev believes more players could have Covid than is being revealed by the Australian Open, citing scarce testing as his main concern.ย 

In order for players to compete at the Australian Open, they first had to be fully vaccinated against Covid. If they weren’t, they had to apply for and be granted a medical exemption which permitted them to play.

These rules meant Tennis Australia and the Australian Government had to cancel 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic’s medical exemption and terminate his visa, not once but twice.

As a result, the world number one was subsequently deported just one day prior to the ‘Happy Slam’ starting. The decision proved polarising all over the world, with many supporting Djokovic’s plight while others criticised his antics.

WTA world number three Garbine Muguruza, as well as many others including Bernard Tomic, have all voiced their concerns over the lack of Covid testing.

Similarly, Alize Cornet revealed she tests herself every two days but said that is only an ‘optional’ measure and is not enforced.

These fears come after Frenchman Ugo Humbert recently revealed that he had tested positive after his defeat to compatriot Richard Gasquet.

In a post-match press conference after beating John Millman, Olympic gold medallist and ATP world number three Zverev said: “We are allowed to go outside to eat, allowed to do whatever we want, so I think it’s natural that more people get Covid.

“I think quite a few players had it when they arrived. Quite a few players I think have it now.

“We’re not getting tested, so I think if we would get tested there would be probably more positives than there are now, in a way.

“I’m here to play the tournament and I understand that there is a lot of cases in Melbourne, there is a lot of cases in Australia all around.

“So I don’t do much outside, I haven’t been to any restaurants yet, I haven’t been out.

“I haven’t been anywhere but the hotel room and the courts, so I’m kind of doing a bubble for myself, simply because I don’t want to take any risks and I want to give myself the best chance possible to do well here.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.