The Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) has stepped down from his criticism of Australia’s handling of tennis quarantine, just a day after one of its young stars tested positive for COVID-19.

The RFET sent out a press release on Thursday evening highlighting two players they felt were being harshly treated and consequently accused organisers of withholding the information that they would be required to quarantine in case of any positive COVID tests on their flight to Melbourne.

“(Players) were not informed about the possibility that they would be severely confined if they travelled on the same plane with a passenger who tested positive, without taking into account the physical proximity of the players affected with that positive,” the statement read.

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“Mario Vilella and Carlos Alcaraz are confined in a room without being able to leave for 14 days when they have both performed multiple PCRs that have been negative.

“It is evident that these two players … will not be able to compete on equal terms with the rest of the players. And it is no longer only a strictly competitive problem of this first Grand Slam. The point is that his season could be seriously damaged by a 14-day lockdown.”

The RFET also was adamant that Tennis Australia should forego its own rules for the locked down Spanish stars.

“The affected tennis players are elite athletes who need to be active in order to perform and not injure themselves. Not to mention the psychological damage that affects the athlete in a sport in which the mental aspect is so demanding,” it added.

“For all the above, from the RFET we ask Tennis Australia to try to solve the problem of the most affected tennis players – Mario Vilella and Carlos Alcaraz – Spanish players who are directly under our scope of action.”

However, the RFET then performed a stunning U-turn on its criticism of its Australian counterparts after one of its stars – Paula Badosa – testing positive.

Badosa, who will now have to restart her 14-day quarantine and is touch and go to make the tournament, has been vocal in her criticism of Tennis Australia’s policies, but the RFET sent out an apology in a fresh statement on Saturday morning.

“First of all, we apologise to Tennis Australia if our statement has at any time been interpreted as a criticism of their working methods, nothing is further from our intention,” the new release read.

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“The RFET thanks Tennis Australia for the effort to organise, in these times so complicated by the global pandemic, the first Grand Slam of the season, something vital for our tennis players who are going to compete again and generate resources.

“The Australian Government has demonstrated the effectiveness of its measures against COVID-19, as reflected by the evolution of the disease in this country, which is setting an example for the world.

“The RFET wants to reiterate its solidarity with all the players who have tested positive. He also wants to support Spanish athletes who, due to different circumstances, are undergoing strict 14-day confinement.”



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