20 Jan 2021

Mice continue to stalk tennis player in quarantine

4:21 pm on 20 January 2021

A mice infestation at one of the Australian Open's quarantine hotels continues to plague Kazak player Yulia Putintseva, who complained she could not sleep for the rodents scurrying around her room.

The world number 28 changed rooms earlier this week after complaining of mice but said on social media she had found another in her new room.

Yulia Putintseva

Yulia Putintseva Photo: Photosport

"It's actually a lot of them! Not even 1 in my room now," she wrote on Twitter, posting a video of a mouse jumping out from behind a closet.

"Different room same story - wanted to go to sleep but noooope."

She added that reception had told her the hotel was full and that they couldn't help her.

"Its a joke," she said.

On Instagram Putintseva complained her room's windows would not open and held up a sign saying: "We need fresh air to breathe."

Putintseva's situation has gained her little sympathy from Victoria's police minister Lisa Neville, who has accused her of feeding the rodent.

"We've had the hotel pest controlled this week and I think there may have been some feeding going on of the mouse," Neville said.

"We're doing everything we can to make sure these rooms don't have mice ... I'd encourage them to minimise interaction with the mice and we will keep doing pest control if we need to."

More than 70 players and their entourage are confined to their hotel rooms for 14 days and unable to train for the Feb. 8-21 Australian Open after passengers on three charter flights returned positive tests for the novel coronavirus.

A number of players have complained about the conditions, drawing a fierce backlash from Australians.

However, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has said "the vast majority" of players were supportive of the strict protocols."