Lonely tennis players spending 14 days in a quarantine hotel before the Australian Open have apparently been befriending mice—and authorities would like them to stop. After world No. 28 Yulia Putintseva complained that the hotel in Melbourne was infested with mice, Victoria state police minister said players are being "encouraged" to "minimize interactions" with the rodents, the BBC reports. "As I understand, there may have been some feeding going on," said Neville, who added that pest control measures have been taken. Quarantine is mandatory for all arrivals to Australia and authorities say at least four players and six members of their entourages have tested positive after arriving for quarantine ahead of the Feb. 8 tournament, the AP reports.
Most players are being allowed outside to practice, but 72 close contacts of the positive cases are being required to remain in their rooms at a "medi-hotel." World No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut apologized Wednesday after comparing hotel conditions to prison in an interview, the Age reports. "I thank all the people who are making playing tennis again possible," the Spanish star said. "The management that has been made in Australia to prevent the spread of the virus is admirable." Australian Open director Craig Tiley criticized the "minority" of players who have complained about quarantine conditions on social media. "Culturally there’s a different approach to how the virus is managed," he said, adding that Australia is proud of measures that have kept COVID deaths under 1,000 nationwide. (Read more Australian Open stories.)