While most other players are starting two weeks of quarantine in Melbourne, world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty arrived days ago and has already been hitting at Melbourne Park, the site of the Australian Open.
The 24-year-old Australian is not under the same requirements as those coming in from elsewhere, though she too has had to adjust to the changing measures taken by local governments to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Melbourne Age, Barty had to move forward her trip from Brisbane when the Victoria government restricted entry from Queensland, and had to quarantine for three days upon arrival. She traveled with three other Australian players.
But since then she has been free to move around, with the newspaper saying she has hit at Melbourne Park several times. But Barty and other Australian players will not have access to the site from next week, when it turns into part of the player training bubble for the rest of the field.
Barty could also join other top players at an exhibition event in Adelaide in two weeks, according to the newspaper.
On Saturday, tennis players and personnel who entered Australia on two chartered flights were notified they will have to quarantine for 14 days inside their hotel rooms after three passengers tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival into Melbourne.
Barty has not competed since the 2020 Australian Open, partly because of strict Australian restrictions and a reluctance to travel in the pandemic—she did not defend her title at Roland Garros. But she has kept her No. 1 ranking because of the adjustments introduced by the WTA Tour during this stretch of restricted competition, which allows a player to count ranking points from two previous years.
Barty is top seed and a defending semifinalist at the Australian Open.