The number of players in hard quarantine swelled to 72 ahead of the Australian Open after a fifth positive coronavirus test was returned from the charter flights bringing players, coaches, officials and media to Melbourne for the season-opening tennis major.,Australian Open organizers confirmed late Sunday that the latest case involved a passenger on the flight from Doha, Qatar to Melbourne who was not a member of the playing contingent, But all 58 passengers, including the 25 players, now cannot leave their hotel rooms for 14 days.,There were already 47 players, including Grand Slam winners, in hard quarantine after three positive tests were returned from a charter flight that arrived from Los Angeles and one on a flight that departed Abu Dhabi.,Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said organizers and players were forewarned there’d be a “significant risk” of exta restrictions being imposed if there were positive COVID-19 cases.,Tiley said there were no plans to delay the Australian Open any further — it’s already starting three weeks later than usual — although organizers were reviewing the schedule for the warmup tournaments starting Feb. 1 to find ways to make it easier for those players in strict quarantine to prepare.

A further 25 tennis players were forced into quarantine in Australia ahead of the season’s first tennis major after another positive coronavirus test on a charter flight, taking the total number of competitors isolating in hotel rooms to 72 on Sunday.The positive test came from a passenger who was not a member of the playing contingent, Australian Open organizers said.,But all 58 passengers, including the 25 players on the flight from Doha, Qatar that arrived in Melbourne on Saturday, now cannot leave their hotel rooms for two weeks.Organizers had previously announced that 47 players had to quarantine after four COVID-19 cases emerged from two other charter flights bringing players, staff, officials and media to Australia.Some players have expressed anger at being classified as close contacts merely for being on board those flights with people who later tested positive and, therefore, forced into a harsher quarantine than the broader group of players who’ll be allowed out of their rooms to practice for up to five hours per day.But local health authorities have said all players were warned of the risks in advance.,Those were among 17 charter flights from seven international destinations bringing up to 1,200 players, coaches, staff and officials into Australia for the tournament.Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said organizers and players were forewarned there’d be a “significant risk” of restrictions being imposed on players if there were positive COVID-19 cases.,She posted the notification that she and others who were on the flight received informing them of the quarantine.Being unable to leave their room would mean the only workouts they’d be able to have would be on exercise equipment left in the rooms of all of the players.Other players will be allowed to train under strict conditions and with supervision, although those practice sessions in Melbourne had been delayed while health authorities waited to receive all the coronavirus tests.Five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray and American Madison Keys haven’t traveled to Australia after testing positive in mandatory pre-flight checks.Tiley said there were no plans to delay the Australian Open any further — it’s already starting three weeks later than usual — although organizers were reviewing the schedule for the warmup tournaments starting Feb. 1 to find ways to make it easier for those players in strict quarantine to prepare.Tickets are on sale for the tournament, although the crowd capacity at Melbourne Park will be limited.Australia’s international borders are basically closed to travelers, although there are exemptions in special circumstances.,Each of Australia’s states and territories has its own border and quarantine rules, and those can change on very short notice.Victoria state, which has as its capital Melbourne, accounted for 810 of Australia’s 909 deaths from COVID-19, most of those during a deadly second wave three months ago which resulted in curfews and lockdowns for the city.Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are among a group of players involved in an exhibition event in Adelaide, South Australia state, on Jan. 29.

He’s the newest member of the U.S. Men’s National Team but if you have been following the upper echelons of domestic soccer in recent weeks, Tristan Blackmon’s name already may seem familiar.,Three days before Christmas, Blackmon and LAFC were beaten 2-1 by Tigres UANL of Mexico in the CONCACAF Champions League Final also played in Orlando, in a bubble, amid the COVID-19 crisis.,Bob Bradley, the LAFC coach and former coach of the U.S. national team, had cautioned the LAFC players about letting Tigres get a fast break going in transition.,So now Blackmon finds himself competing for a spot on the national team, which is quite an honor, too.,Blackmon is one of 38 players from whom Berhalter will choose and the only new one added to the senior roster of World Cup eligibles.