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Australian Open Concerns

Australian Open Concerns

Local Voice Weighs in on Tennis Quarantine

Former Albury tennis coach and player turned strategy coach for some of the top tennis players in the world says players in hotel quarantine need to keep their head in the game.

Craig O’Shannessy is now based in the United States and was Novak Djokovic’s strategy coach for several years, and this year is working with #10 ranked Matteo Berrettini from Italy and #37 Jan-Lennard Struff from Germany for the Australian Open.

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He was also due to remotely support #16 women’s ranked player Madison Keys from the U.S who was forced to withdraw due to testing positive for COVID-19 and did not make the flight to Melbourne.

O’Shannessy says players were advised that hard hotel quarantine was an option prior to arriving in Australia.

“The players were told and I also saw it in writing from Tennis Australia, explaining there was the possibility if someone tests positive on the flight, the whole flight could quite conceivably go into quarantine and that it was up to health officers, so players have known this,” he said.

Rather than looking at the negative side of being in quarantine, O’Shannessy says players need to deal with it, and embrace it.

“Ultimately, tennis as life, is a game of adversity. They’ve got to take it in their stride, stay active, keep their minds active,” Craig told Kylie & Kev.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to study their game, study their opponents, watch videos – there are other ways to keep their head in the game so when they’re out of quarantine they’re ready to go.

“It’s a really tough start but it also has the opportunity to have a wonderful ending where we may see some of these players who haven’t been able to play for two weeks, go deep in the draw and turn around and say ‘you know what, I just went through the toughest period of my life, I’ve never done anything like being locked in a room,’ and then go out and play a great tennis match.

“My best advice is we need to weather this storm, as you do in a tennis match, and come out the other side better for it.”

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