There were others who broke the protocols without thinking. Two male players were rebuked by Correctional Commissioner Emma Cassar in an interview with Channel Nine news, although she stopped short of naming them.
Cassar spoke of one player “who opened the door to try and have a conversation with his training mate down the hallway.” She also mentioned “another gentleman [who] shouted some UberEats to some other people on the floor and was praising himself for his great efforts – and opened his door to do so. It is really low-level but really dangerous acts which we just can’t tolerate.”
According to Channel Nine, both players have now been given formal warnings by the Victorian police. Fines for a second offence could reach A$20,000. But one other player who admitted opening her hotel door – Putintseva – deserved some sympathy in the circumstances. She had previously taken a video of a mouse running around her room, and said she was only trying to let it out.
In another Channel Nine interview, Tiley rejected suggestions that he might be forced to delay the Australian Open beyond its planned start date of Feb 8. He did admit that the unavailability of training facilities for some players “makes it an uneven playing field so what we have to do is mitigate it as much as possible in the circumstances. What we’re trying to do is to make it as fair as possible for those players.”
For those whose charter flights returned no positive tests, practice at Melbourne Park was supposed to start on Sunday at 3.45pm. In fact, it ended up being suspended until Monday because of a shortage of staff to deep-clean the buses – an awkward detail that highlights the many challenges facing Tennis Australia over the coming weeks.