Australian Open 2022: Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck tests positive for COVID-19

Melbourne, Australia, Jan 23 (AFP): Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck Sunday became the second player to test positive for COVID-19 at the Australian Open, saying she had “very mild symptoms”.

Van Uytvanck was knocked out of the singles by Chinese qualifier Wang Qiang on Wednesday then partnered Denamrk’s Clara Tauson to a three-set loss in the opening round of the women’s doubles a day later.

“My exit test in Melbourne to go back to Belgium came back positive,” she said on Instagram.

“I’m isolating and following all of the requirements. I have very mild symptoms and looking forward to being back stronger.”

Frenchman Ugo Humbert was the first known infection after he revealed on Wednesday he also tested positive on his exit test.

It subsequently emerged that testing for players at the Grand Slam was “optional”, prompting men’s third seed Alexander Zverev to say he feared “quite a few players” were infected.

Official attendees at Melbourne Park, such as tournament staff, are provided with rapid antigen tests each day and must be negative to remain on site.

Players are given kits too but it is only mandatory to test if they have symptoms and it is up to them to declare if they are positive.

Tournament director Craig Tiley has defended the protocols, which saw all players having PCR tests on arrival in Australia and again between days five and seven.

“So far it’s worked well and it’s been successful,” he said last week.