Australian Open players have been told not to feed mice at their quarantine hotel in Melbourne after world number 28 Yulia Putintseva complained she could not sleep for the rodents scurrying around her room.
The Kazak swapped rooms earlier this week after finding a mouse but said her new room was also infested. She shared a video of a mouse jumping out from behind a closet on social media.
Victoria state police minister Lisa Neville said on Wednesday authorities would take care of pest control but suggested there might be more to the story.
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"As I understand there may have been some feeding going on," she told reporters, without revealing the source of her information.
I'd just encourage them to minimise interaction with the mice, we will keep doing pest control if we need to, but hopefully that pest control work that was done this week will have fixed the problem.
Putintseva said her new room had more mice than the old one.
"It's actually a lot of them! Not even 1 in my room now," she wrote on Twitter.
"Different room same story - wanted to go to sleep but noooope."
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She added that reception had told her the hotel was full and that they could not help her.
"Its a joke," she said.
On Instagram, Putintseva also complained of not being able to open windows in her room. She held up a sign saying: "We need fresh air to breathe."
A number of players have complained about the conditions, drawing a fierce backlash from Australians, with thousands of the nation's citizens remaining stranded overseas due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
However, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley on Tuesday said "the vast majority" of players were supportive of the strict protocols.
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Two more Australian Open players tested positive for Covid-19, an official said on Wednesday, as the government confirmed it would send the quarantine bill for the tournament to Tennis Australia's desk.
Neville said two players and a non-playing Australian Open participant comprised three new infections reported on Wednesday.
A total of 10 people associated with the Grand Slam, including four players, have now tested positive for the virus.
The has been confusion over the exact numbers, with several test results later reclassified by authorities as "viral shedding" from previous infections.
The viral shedders are not contagious. Neville said authorities were "very confident" one of the two new player infections was a case of viral shedding.
"Of the other two, it's less clear that they're shedding. That will be worked through, and that's one player and one support person," Neville told reporters.
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Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said two players reported to have tested positive on Tuesday were also viral shedders.
A number of players have complained about the hard quarantine, raising concerns they may be at a disadvantage to better-prepared rivals.
Daniel Vallverdu, coach of three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, said organisers needed to give preferential treatment to players unable to train for two weeks.
'CONFINED PLAYERS SHOULD GET PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT'
Tennis coach Daniel Vallverdu says players who have been locked down in their hotel rooms should get preferential treatment from organisers such as prime practice times and matches scheduled in the cooler hours of the day.
While those in hard quarantine are left to hit balls against mattress in their rooms, the other arrivals are able to spend five hours a day outside to prepare.
Vallverdu, who coaches three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, said organisers should try to even things up.
"Anything we can do to make it a bit more fair for them, it's never going to be completely fair," he said.
Once they come out of quarantine they're only going to have one or two days maximum to get on court before having their first match. So any extra days that they can get, and preference and some privileges when it comes to scheduling, I think would be more than fair and hopefully the rest of the playing field will feel the same.
The 34-year-old has worked with some of the biggest names in tennis, including Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro, and also represents coaches on the ATP Player Council.
The Venezuelan said the Council had been trying to help players get through the hard quarantine and made suggestions to Tennis Australia how things can be made easier for them after they are free from isolation.
"Scheduling, extra practice, preferential treatment when it comes to practice times, extra time on the court," Vallverdu said on a Zoom call.
"Match scheduling, playing not in the sunny time of the day, they can play when it cools down a bit, they can get a late start for the tournament, the tournament can start one or two days later if possible."
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