Rising tennis star Paula Badosa tests positive for COVID before Australian Open

Rising Spanish star Paula Badosa has become the first Australian Open player to announce she has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the season’s first grand slam.

The 23-year-old has been isolating in Melbourne in mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine after two co-passengers on a tournament-chartered flight from Abu Dhabi subsequently tested positive.

She was on her seventh day in quarantine when she received the news.

Badosa said on social media on Thursday that she had been feeling unwell and had been moved to another “health hotel” to recuperate.

The world No.67 went on Twitter to say: “I have some bad news. Today, I received a positive Covid-19 test result.

“I’m feeling unwell and have some symptoms, but I’ll try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors.

“I have been taken to a health hotel to self-isolate and be monitored. Thanks for your support. We’ll be back stronger. Paula.”

A total of 72 competitors have been confined to their hotel rooms before the tournament that starts on February 8.

On Wednesday, officials had reported that 10 people who travelled to Australia for the tournament had tested positive.

Yet some of those were likely to be viral shedding, where someone still has the virus in their system but is no longer contagious.

Yet the New York-born Badosa is still the only competitor to be named as an active coronavirus case.

She has precious little time to recover and to be fit for the event after looking forward to making it the starting point for another rise up the rankings in 2021.

Badosa had ended 2020 by making huge strides, reaching the last-16 at the French Open and reaching a career-high ranking.

She is due to compete in her third Australian Open, having reached the second round last year before being knocked out by Petra Kvitova.

Meanwhile, leading Brazilian umpire Carlos Bernardes, who was due to be officiating in Melbourne, is recovering after being taken to hospital on Wednesday, having reportedly suffered a heart attack during quarantine.

The ATP reported: “Following admittance to hospital (non-Covid related) on Wednesday in Melbourne, we are pleased to report that ATP Umpire Carlos Bernardes is recovering well.

“Carlos passes on his gratitude for all the well wishes he’s received, and we wish him all the best for a full recovery.”